THIS was the scene in a Herefordshire town where people were asked about a new housing estate.

A large queue formed outside Ledbury Community Hall in Lawnside Road, which was being used for the exercise in community democracy.

Parishioners were asked to vote on whether they though a single access for a 625-home estate to the north of Ledbury viaduct was satisfactory or not.

Our pictures (taken by Jenny Harrison and Edd Hogan) capture just one moment in a voting period that lasted from 4pm to 9pm, and belie the fact that the turn-out at 14.9 per cent was relatively low.

But the verdict was clear, with 1,022 voting against the idea that a single access off the Bromyard Road was “satisfactory”, and just 49 voting in favour.

The outcome was welcomed by Wellington Heath resident Peter Constantine.

Wellington Heath stands to be particularly affected by the development, because main access points to the village are also off the Bromyard Road, and villagers fear traffic jams and rat-running problems once the estate is built.

Mr Constantine said: “The new plans for the Bromyard Road/Hereford Road junction would no doubt improve traffic flow and safety, but the report simply ignores a similarly reasoned consideration of the access, originally proposed, under the viaduct.

"There has been no professional comparison between alternative options.”

A parish poll like this one on Thursday, August 15, allows for a ballot of local government electors in the parish to be called on any question arising at a parish meeting.