Leading Tory councillors called on county council chief David Hitchiner to resign last week following revelations that he lives within earshot of the proposed Hereford bypass route.

Coun Hitchiner was the only Herefordshire Council member to have information relating to any land owned redacted from the register of interests.

The information was made public and the register changed after Conservative group deputy leader Nigel Shaw told full council about the omission.

His Clehonger address had been blacked out under legislation to protect councillors who were subject to violence or intimidation.

Coun Shaw said: “It’s unconscionable that a member can discuss and influence policy on an item under which they have a financial interest.

“It’s a sad day for openness and transparency that the leader tries to hide his interest by redacting his address from the members’ list.

“His action reflects on all of us by association. I understand his interest is so close to the red route that it is going to share the same postcode.

“I will therefore ask him if he will stand down and report himself to the standards committee.”

Council solicitor Claire Ward told the meeting that the register of interests information was redacted because of sensitive issues.

“I have considered the sensitive reasons why any records of a member have been redacted,” she said.

“In relation to a redaction, that doesn’t mean that the member doesn’t still hold that interest and will deal with the code in accordance with the requirements for each member here."