LEDBURY'S only high school has rubbished claims its site could be demolished and replaced by housing.

A media report last week suggested Ledbury Town Council has earmarked John Masefield High School as a possible area for homes.

But both the school and town council have refuted the idea, with the former saying it is looking to refurbish or even rebuild the Mabel's Furlong venue.

"The current site for the school is a good site," said headteacher Andrew Evans.

"It is at the heart of the community in Ledbury and many students walk to school.

"We have lovely playing fields with beautiful views of the Marcle Ridge and the young people feel happy here, which is far more important than money for property developers or the council. "Furthermore, selling off the current site for housing development would not raise anywhere near enough funds to build a new school."

His comments come after a media report published by the Ledbury Reporter suggested formal proposals by the town council had been submitted to demolish the school and rebuild it elsewhere within the next three years.

"If we were fortunate enough to be successful in a bid to the education funding agency for a new or substantially refurbished school, it would be feasible and desirable to rebuild JMHS on the current site," added Mr Evans.

"I would like to state that although many of our school buildings are old, expensive to maintain and need constant repair, due to the excellent work of our site staff and the pride our students take in JMHS, the school is extremely well maintained and a great place to learn for the young people of Ledbury and the surrounding areas."

Town mayor, Cllr Bob Barnes, said the town council has been holding public consultations over Herefordshire Council's plans for its Core Strategy - the county's development framework for the coming years.

He said the school site was put forward by them for assessment merely because people had suggested it as a suitable site for housing, adding any such decision would rest with the school.

"It is not the town council which wants to move the school," he said.

"We have had suggestions put forward for sites which may be suitable for housing.

"A couple of the replies asked if the school could be relocated (to make way for housing).

"We've had other sites identified too.

"So we responded to the consultation for the core strategy saying so.

"But it is the school's land."