Andy Boddington of Chestnut Grove, Ludlow, says homes need to have masterplan (From Ludlow Advertiser)
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Andy Boddington of Chestnut Grove, Ludlow, says homes need to have masterplan
8:00am Wednesday 25th April 2012 in Letters
AFTER months of controversy, the Government’s new planning policy has been published.
Its simplification of the previous tangle of planning rules into a single National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is welcome.
The NPPF however goes a step further and opens up the threat of renewed urban sprawl unless planners can keep one step ahead of developers.
How will this affect a town like Ludlow? Shropshire Council has just published proposals for a new suburb to the east of Ludlow. The plan is for 200 homes at Rock Green, on the fields behind the Nelson Inn.
These are just the first stage. To quote Shropshire Council’s document: “It is envisaged that development in this area will form the first part of a comprehensive and co-ordinated longer term ‘masterplanned’ growth of the town between Sheet Road and Rocks Green in line with community aspirations.”
There is space between the Nelson Inn and the Eco Park for about 1,000 new homes. This will be a significant addition to Ludlow and it will have already attracted the attention of developers.
The danger is that this new suburb will go the way of so many other urban extensions, and be developed in a piecemeal fashion with inadequate community facilities and green space.
Under the new planning framework this is exactly what will happen unless there are crystal clear local plans in place. The Ludlow urban extension should be built to the highest eco standards.
With Ludlow eco park and the social eco-housing at Rocks Green, it should form a new ecoquarter for Ludlow.
It should become “popular, green, planned, secure with gardens, places to play and characterful houses, not just car dominated”, to quote from the Prime Minister’s speech on March 19.
It should be Ludlow’s own garden suburb. The worry is that we are being asked by Shropshire Council to decide on the first tranche of homes in the new suburb without any knowledge of the overall ‘masterplan’.
The proposals for housing and employment land in Ludlow can be found online at http:// bit.ly/samdevl.
Shropshire Council is asking for comments before June 8.
ANDY BODDINGTON, Chestnut Grove, Ludlow.