Joy as controversial Ludlow bungalow plans shelved
Controversial plans for five bungalows on an 'important' green space have been shelved to the delight of campaigners.
The application, relating to Sidney Road Green in Ludlow, was granted approval by a planning inspector earlier this year following an appeal.
To the many people who had tried to fight the proposals off, it seemed as if the battle had been lost.
But social housing provider Connexus has now announced it will not be proceeding with the plans after listening to residents' concerns.
Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East, which includes the Sidney Road area, said: “This is brilliant news. No one in Ludlow wanted this scheme.
"It has already led to the unnecessary felling of very fine Norway Maple. But the development never offered anything for the community on Sidney Road. It never worked for Ludlow.
“Town councillors, unitary councillors and residents worked together from the moment proposals for this development were announced by South Shropshire Housing.
"We fought against the proposals at two Shropshire Council planning committees but lost when the housing association went to appeal to the planning inspectorate.
“But now Connexus, which took on South Shropshire Housing, has decided it must work with the grain of Ludlow’s community. Not against it.
“This is a new ball game. It’s a brilliant ball game. It’s a great early Christmas present for Ludlow.”
The three-year battle over the site began when the sudden felling of a Norway maple sparked concerns that the land was being prepared for housing.
A tree protection order was quickly issued to prevent a second tree suffering the same fate, but, sure enough, plans were submitted months later confirming councillors' and residents' fears.
Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North, had threatened to tie himself to the second Norway Maple to prevent it being felled.
He said: “This is a huge relief for everyone. But it is not the end of the matter.
"Connexus must apply for the planning permission to be cancelled, then the town council should apply for the green space to be declared a town green. That’s a legal designation that will protect the green forever.
“Connexus is listening to our community. We must work with its team to help it find new sites for affordable homes in Ludlow as well as protecting the Sidney Road green space for future generations."
Vincent Bolton, communications officer for Connexus, said: "Director of development for Connexus, Vicki Tomlinson, attended a Ludlow Town Council meeting earlier this year where she heard concerns from Councillors and Ludlow residents regarding the proposed development at Sidney Green.
"After listening carefully to residents’ views, Connexus has confirmed to Ludlow Town Council that we will not be going ahead with the development scheme."