A GREEN space in Ludlow town centre has been saved after a campaign by local residents that included a councillor threatening to tie himself to a tree.

The scheme to build five new homes has been dropped.

But now councillors are saying that whist they agree that the building scheme was inappropriate alternative sites must be found to provide affordable housing in Ludlow.

Social housing provider Connexus has told Ludlow Town Council that it will not proceed with its proposal for five bungalows on the green space on Sidney Road at the bottom of Charlton Rise.

Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East, and the Sidney Road area says everyone in Ludlow should celebrate the news.

“This is brilliant news,” she said claiming that the scheme was unwelcome from the start.

“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.”

A fight to resist the development was taken up by people living in the area supported by members of the town council and the three Ludlow representatives on Shropshire Council.

But at the point when it looked as if all was lost the housing association had a change of heart and decided that it would reconsider the proposal to build on the green space.

“Town councillors, unitary councillors and residents worked together from the moment proposals for this development were announced by South Shropshire Housing,” said Mrs Huffer.

The scheme was originally rejected by Shropshire planners but was then reprieved after the developers took the decision to appeal where it was overturned.

“We fought against the proposals at two Shropshire Council planning committees but lost when the housing association went to appeal to the planning inspectorate,” Mrs Huffer added.

“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.”

Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North, had threatened to tie himself to the second Norway Maple to prevent it being felled.

“This is a huge relief for everyone,” he added.

“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 are 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 the future.”