A TRANQUIL oasis in Ludlow Town Centre will be spoilt if plans to build a balcony for a flat are approved.

This is the view of Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North who says that if planning officials recommend it for approval he will ask that a committee of council members make the final decision.

Residents living in the area have also opposed the application.

Ludlow Town Council and the Ludlow Conservation area Advisory Committee have also lodged objections.

The plans are to extend a third floor flat above Joules and the hospice shop, 9-10 King Street, with a north facing roof terrace. The balcony, which will be 10.5 metres (34ft) above ground level, would break up the established roofline.

Residents or holidaymakers in the flat will overlook the bedroom windows of two of the new almshouses. They will gaze over the roof of the almshouses to St Lawrence’s Church and the 17th Century Reader’s House, both Grade I listed. Looking from Church Walk, the balcony will be in full view. It will also be seen from Tower Street.

Mr Boddington says that there are a combination of reasons why the scheme should be rejected.

"The proposed balcony will interrupt the pitched roofline at the rear of King Street," he said.

"It will be visible from one of Ludlow’s cherished views as people walk from the churchyard towards the south front of the church.

"The terrace will, as pointed out by Ludlow Conservation Area Advisory Committee, will also be visible from Tower Street.

"Church Walk is a quiet passageway. It does not have the noise and bustle of King Street itself. Only a few patrons of pubs use Church Walk because it does not lead to residential areas (with the exception of the almshouses and College Court, all retirement settlements). It is an oasis of quiet in the town centre, with its garden of rest (part of St Laurence’s churchyard) and the Jubilee Garden. Both are areas where visitors can currently expect a quiet environment and be allowed to contemplate, without any disturbance from elevated balconies.

"The balcony will be high above two almshouses windows. It is difficult to work out whether people standing on the balcony will be able to see into the bedroom windows of the almshouses apartments. But noise will be heard. Our almshouses house vulnerable people. That is their purpose and they should be able to reside with peace and dignity.

"Although noise is a public protection issue, we are required to plan for the safety and amenity of residents. We should not plan in disturbance for residents from an elevated terrace. There are no precedents for elevated terraces in Ludlow town centre.

"The proposed balcony will be a notable intrusion into the conservation area and the settings of two Grade I listed buildings, the Reader’s House and St Lawrence’s Church. It will detract from the historic environment of Church Walk. The harm to heritage assets is less than substantial but it is nevertheless significant in the context of the setting of St Laurence’s Church and the Reader’s House."