New calls to protect Ludlow meadow from development work

A campaign to save a much-loved Ludlow meadow is ramping up again.

Castle View Terrace meadow
Castle View Terrace meadow

Developers say they need to do more work to stabilise the rocks and soil banks of Fishmore Quarry to ensure that it doesn't tumble down into the new housing development below.

"The controversial part of the proposal will involve regrading the slope along the south west edge of Castle View Terrace meadow," says Ludlow North Councillor Andy Boddington.

Councillor Boddington has estimated that the work will remove about 11 per cent of the meadow, and developer Shropshire Homes will need to allow construction vehicles on to the meadow to carry out the work.

Fans of the meadow fear that trucks brought into the site could churn up and irreparably damage the precious soil.

Fishmore Quarry face

"It seems inevitable that this application will be approved but everything must be done to protect the meadow and its historic brick wall," said Councillor Boddington, who expects that planning officers will make a decision in a couple of weeks.

It is the second application to stabilise the rock face. The first one has already been approved for the construction of a green wall with a grass and wildflower slope above.

Being inaccessible to the public means it will eventually be a boost to local biodiversity, campaigners agree.

But the fear that work on the surface of the meadow could take decades to recover from.

Campaigners agree that the work has to be done to make the sides of the quarry safe from collapse onto the houses below.

But Counillor Boddington is calling for Shropshire Homes to use the "smallest and lightest machinery possible" - and to make sure that an historic brick wall is not demolished.

Shropshire Council's ecologist has also requested a new ecological assessment should be carried out.

In a response on the council's planning portal, the ecologist says the amount of land being proposed for the work is larger than that originally agreed.

"Surveys undertaken in 2019 are now out of date and do not encompass this application site area," says the council's ecologist.

A spokesman for Shropshire Homes said it has been working closely with Shropshire Council following concerns raised by local councillors and residents.

The spokesperson said: "We confirm that any access required off Castle View Terrace will use the existing gateway; this may require some temporary adjustment of the wall in that area but this will be fully reinstated and the gate re-hung in its current location."

Protection is also being proposed where plant may need to cross the meadow to "provide mitigation against damage from machine tracks".

The spokesperson added: "We have agreed to provide a construction traffic management plan to the local authority prior to commencement so that all of these details can be agreed once the scope of the slope stability work is finalised and hopefully approved.

"Shropshire Homes is a local developer who values its relationship with local residents and we will continue to work with them, local councillors and the local authority to ensure we keep disruption to a minimum in completing these essential works”.

Meanwhile, a planning appeal remains to be decided on another contentious plan to build homes actually on the meadow.

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