HEREFORDSHIRE Council has approved plans to build 16 homes in Ross-on-Wye despite concerns over increased traffic.

The new housing estate will be built on a former 1.5-acre paddock off Merrivale Lane.

The proposals include 10 open market houses and six affordable homes.

Some 20 residents had objected to the plans over concerns the impact it will have on an already busy road.

They also said the development would mean a loss of open space and would hurt the environment.

But Ross-on-Wye town council said it had no objections and the site is allocated for housing within the neighbourhood development plan subject to retaining the hedgerows, conducting an archaeological study and the access to be from Merrivale Lane.

MORE NEWS Green light for new lodges at Herefordshire country park

Chartered planner Nick Beddoe, speaking on behalf of the applicant, told today’s (October 13) planning committee meeting that the scheme had no objections from the highways, ecology, conservation, and tree officers at the council.

“The proposal also benefits from the support of the Ross-on-Wye town council and the plans satisfy the conditions of the emerging neighbourhood plan.

He said the scheme represented the optimal viable approach to developing the site and would include a funding agreement to offset impacts on local roads.

“A new footpath has been proposed onto Eastfield Road to improve pedestrian connectivity in the area,” he said.

Council planning officers recommended approving the scheme subject to conditions.

MORE NEWS Herefordshire wages are going down due to a lack of road building, say Tories

Ward councillor Paul Symonds said he loathed to see the loss of this much-loved green space.

“The development will have a significant impact on local residents,” he said.

“There’s a lack of capacity in Merrivale Lane at its junction with Alton Street.

“This causes queuing in Alton Street which is effectively the southern bypass to the town.

“The proposed new junction does nothing to alleviate current problems and will bring additional vehicles into a situation which already poses risks to pedestrians.”

HEREFORDSHIRE POLITICS: Chat about the big local issues with Carmelo Garcia on Facebook

He called on the committee to defer the plans and ask the applicant to resubmit with an access designed at the southern end of the development.

Councillor Alan Seldon said there were few grounds to defer the scheme and proposed approving it. This was seconded by coun Elizabeth Foxton.

“Given the situation we have with the five-year housing land supply I would think that deferring it could possibly be counterproductive.”

The planning committee approved the scheme with 11 votes in favour and two against.