Archive for March, 2017
On 9th March I wrote here about a listed building application that had been lodged with Shropshire Council. I described myself as being “cautiously pleased” to see the application which aimed to carry out repairs, reinstatements and minor alterations to the historic Pinefield. I was cautious because I hadn’t seen the associated planning application for enabling development on the backland.
Today I’ve been notified that an application, reference number 17/00998/FUL, has been lodged with Shropshire Council seeking to erect “1no detached dwelling with garage, repair of existing outbuilding in close proximity and erection of 2no semi detached dwellings with attached 3bay garage”. A quick glance at the site layout indicates that the scheme appears to be far better laid out and less imposing than the previous application for four dwellings.
The very helpful aerial site perspective provided by the applicants certainly seems more sympathetic to its setting in the curtilage of the listed building, and to the conservation area. I remain concerned that the garden area remaining with Pinefield appears inadequate for such an imposing property, and when it is refurbished and, hopefully, occupied it is likely that the residents will have cars. No vehicular access is shown and even if a driveway is formed, parking and garaging will consume a large part of this garden space.Nonetheless, this is a step in the right direction and I welcome the progress. Doubtless local residents will take time to consider their opinion of the proposals. In view of the historic importance of Pinefield, its setting in the conservation area and my concerns about vehicular access and egress on the busy A458, I have requested that both applications are determined by Shropshire Council’s South Planning Committee.
The town and parish councils and Shropshire Council are up for election on 4th May. Much Wenlock Town Council has been running a publicity drive for some months to attract folk to stand for this most local form of democracy. This is your opportunity to make a positive difference in the town; hopefully someone from Bourton and Homer will step forward to provide a stronger voice for their villages.
After serving Much Wenlock and the surrounding area for four years as your Shropshire Councillor I now intend standing again as the Conservative candidate. I have found the role fulfilling and I’ve met more lovely folk, many of whom I’ve been able to help with their problems. It is however time-consuming and, from time to time, challenging. If any potential candidate would like to discuss what’s involved, they’re more than welcome to pick up the phone or meet me at my next advice surgery. Some weeks ago I wrote a short piece about my week as a Shropshire Councillor, which you can read online here.
Details on how to stand for election as a councillor are here.
I have written about this site previously – in August 2015, October 2015 and July 2016, when a Section 215 notice was served by Shropshire Council. This required the owners to carry out urgent works to the building to make it safe.
This followed much local concern about the integrity of this important and high-profile Grade II listed building for many years. Over the past few weeks, there have been alarming reports about glass falling from the rotting window frames. I am therefore cautiously pleased to note that a Listed Building Application has been received by Shropshire Council which includes “repairs, reinstatements and minor alterations affecting a Grade II Listed Building to include repair and renewal of roof coverings, rainwater goods, external render, doors, windows and interiors “. The planning application may be seen here; the Design, Access & Heritage Impact statement for repairs and alterations to Pinefield sets out a comprehensive appraisal of the developer’s challenge.
My caution is because the application says “….this application is closely linked with the planning application for the erection of 3no traditional dwellings on land to the rear of No40 itself.” The planning application has not yet appeared on Shropshire Council’s website and the two proposals must be viewed alongside each other to ensure that any enabling residential development is appropriate. Pinefield’s refurbishment must not be achieved at the expense of poor design or overbearing development.
Changes to the national compost standard a few years ago meant that householders could not dispose of cardboard mixed with garden waste. Happily, we’ve been able to negotiate contract revisions and, by the time you read this, you should have received a new blue bag for paper and cardboard which you should put out for collection with rest of your recycling. The paper and cardboard from your new blue bag is bundled and sent to a reprocessor to be made into paper and cardboard again.
Affordable homes in Much Wenlock for folk who can demonstrate a Much Wenlock connection come a step closer – formal planning consent has now been granted for the scheme encouraged by the Neighbourhood Plan. Subject to satisfying planning conditions, I understand that Shropshire Housing Group’s builders hope to commence on site in Callaughton lane in March. I’m very pleased that the contractors have advertised locally for craftsmen – houses for local people using local skills and labour!
If you’re interested in living in one of these homes, Shropshire Council’s housing options team can check your eligibility for affordable housing. The excellent and recently-introduced Shropshire Choices website is a good place to start: https://www.shropshirechoices.org.uk/yourhousingoptions. In due course, a local lettings policy is going to be put in place to check eligibility for local connections.
Two of the twelve properties will be available for shared ownership. For more information on these, please go to the housing association’s website for more details: www.shropshirehousing.org.uk/sharedownership
Since writing here last month about your democratic right to vote as a citizen of the UK, I’ve spoken to a number of folk who thought they were on the register of electors – but they’re not. So it’s worth repeating that, to check if you’re on the register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 678 9015. One of the easiest ways to register to vote is to use your smartphone – just go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.If you’d rather complete a paper form, please contact 0345 678 9015 or email email@example.com.