Shropshire Council refused proposals for six homes and a car parking area on the meadow off Castle View Terrace in Ludlow last year, but the developer, Shropshire Homes, is now hoping to have the decision overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.
If approval is granted, the six homes will be built fronting Castle View Terrace in two terraces of three, with a parking area for existing residents in the middle.
An area of public open space will be provided to the back of the meadow, with seating and an information board describing the view over Ludlow, before the land slopes down to Shropshire Homes’ Fishmore Quarry housing development below.
The developer argues the land has always been privately owned and used for sheep grazing, and not a public open space.
But those living nearby say it has been well used by generations of Ludlow residents and is a wildlife haven.
Refusing the plans last November, officers said the loss of one of the only areas of green space in the middle of the town would be “detrimental” to the community.
They further said the town had already exceeded its housing targets and had a number of preferred sites for future building – meaning the development could not be justified.
Objections had flooded in from Ludlow residents when Shropshire Homes submitted the application – initially for seven houses – with concerns raised over the loss off public amenity space, damage to wildlife, and the potential to worsen existing parking problems on the street.
Campaign group Save the Meadow was set up to fight the plans, and the group raised £130,000 in pledges in an effort to buy the meadow for the community, but the developer turned down the offer.
Tish Dockerty, from the group, said: “We’re gearing up to defend the decision made by Shropshire Council.
“We have had some advice and we are going to be putting in an objection on behalf of the campaign.
“People are welcome to put in their own objections, everyone that put an objection in to the council over the planning application will have received letters inviting them to re-submit their original objection.
“The planning inspector will see the original objections anyway and will take into account everything that’s happened.
“It’s been hanging over us for a year, the uncertainty has made a lot of people quite stressed.”
In anticipation of an appeal, the group staged a silent protest in front of the Shropshire Homes stand at Ludlow Food Festival in September.
Ms Dockerty said the group “will continue working to preserve the site for the community”.
A planning inspector will decide the case from written representations, rather than a hearing. The deadline for people to submit their comments is November 23.
Councillor Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow North, supported the campaign last year.
He said: “The best thing that Shropshire Homes can do is to stop fighting Ludlow and work with our town on building the housing we need in the right places.
“We need developers that work with our town. Not against it.”