A SCHEME to build more than 200 new homes on the outskirts of Ludlow has been thrown out.

But this may not be the end of the story as councillors went against the recommendation of officers and have been warned of the possible consequences of an appeal that, if successful, could land council tax payers with a bill that could run into six figures.

Planners have rejected an outline application for more than 200 new homes and a neighbourhood shop on a site off between the A49 and Bromfield Road.

Members of the Shropshire Council planning committee went against a recommendation for approval from officers and accepted objections from Ludlow Town Council, local councillor Andy Boddington and 19 objectors that had written letters against the scheme.

In recommending approval planning officers at Shropshire Council had warned that a rejection would be vulnerable to a potential appeal from the developer that would be difficult to defend and would result in major costs.

The scheme was for up to 215 new homes with proposals for a mix of different types of property including 51 two bedroom homes, 102 three bedroom, 54 four bedroom and four five bedroom.

A neighbourhood shop was also planned as well as a public open space and a footbridge over the River Corve that would link the development with other parts of Ludlow.

Rules would require that up to 30 of the homes would be designated as affordable and these would be a mixture of rented and low cost properties that would be handed over to a housing association.

The scheme was considered earlier in the year and deferred for a site visit and more information.

Andy Boddington, the member of Shropshire Council who represents Ludlow North, had submitted a long list of objections to the scheme.

He was concerned that there would be an increased risk of flooding and that the development would be isolated and away from the main centre of Ludlow.

Councillor Boddington is also worried about the ability of Ludlow to cope with the major growth in population and pointed out that there were already concerns about health provision.

But expert reports said that the proposed site of the houses is at less than a one in 100 years risk of flooding although the public open space is within the flood plain.

The other bodies consulted, including The Environment Agency, Highways Authority and Severn Trent Water, had no objection. A number of recommendations about wildlife including providing bat boxes have been included.

In the end the scheme was rejected on the grounds that it is too near the A49, the railway line and the River Corve.

Now Shropshire Council can only wait to see if there is an appeal but with national planning policy making a presumption of approval, unless there is good reason for refusal, the decision could prove very costly.