A TOWN councillor has been told to "refrain from making these kind of comments" in a heated debate about the council's role in planning permission.

Chair of Ledbury's economic development and planning committee Coun John Bannister slammed fellow member Coun Dee Linda Knight as she raised a question from members of the public.

But she was told by Coun Bannister during the Zoom meeting that she must stop making comments about the council, despite her point of view that it was a genuine question from the member of the public.

Coun Knight asked that if an area of land was designated in the neighbourhood development plan for housing, but the majority of the public objected to planning permission, whether the council would back it regardless.

She said members the public felt their views "don't matter" if the council did not take them on board.

Coun Bannister said the public was consulted on the plan, and until it was updated "the plan is the plan".


In response Coun Knight said members of the public had noticed they had not been sent a leaflet asking them for their point of view on the plans to demolish former auction rooms in Ledbury and build 31 flats on the site, similar to what the council had done in the past.

Eades Properties Ltd had submitted plans to Herefordshire Council to redevelop land at the former auction site in Market Street.

The applicant asked Herefordshire Council if it could build a 27039 sq ft block of one-bedroom apartments and include 10 affordable houses.

As Coun Knight began to talk about concerns that when the plans are what "certain councillors want", the public does not feel they have been consulted, she was interrupted by Coun Bannister, who she later criticised for a lack of respect.

"I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to stop there Councillor Knight, you're going in a direction which is not very constructive," he said during the meeting on March 11.

She hit back saying she was only asking a question from members of the public, but town clerk Angela Price said she had not had a written question submitted for the committee to answer.


"What we're here to discuss is this application, we're not here to discuss any other application," Coun Bannister added.

During the heated debate, Coun Knight responded by saying: "Because you've decided."

Coun Bannister then slammed his colleague, saying: "Councillor Knight, can you please refrain from making these kind of comments? Nobody has decided anything about this, it's up for discussion and up for a vote.

"If people want to make representation on it, they are perfectly entitled to do that."

Interrupting Coun Bannister again, Coun Knight questioned if she wasn't allowed to bring questions to the committee from members of the public.

She was told she could, but it was not on the list of questions for the meeting.

"I haven't got it so we're not going to discuss it," Coun Bannister said.

"Can you please refrain from discussing that and stick to this issue?"

He then told her to "hold off and let other people speak".