A plan to build 31 one-bedroom flats in a Herefordshire town has been given the green light.

The two three-storey blocks will be on the site of Ledbury’s former auction rooms on Market Street, within the town’s conservation area.

The development will also incorporate the early 19th-century grade II-listed Newmarket House, along with the modern, unlisted Gavel House. The remaining steel-framed storage buildings will be demolished.

The proposed scheme is designed to meet national standards on space and adaptability. Each flat will have a small area of outside space or balcony as well as sharing a south facing garden.

Sixteen parking spaces as were as cycle parking will be included. Ten of the 31 will be available for “social, affordable or intermediate rent”.


Ledbury Town Council gave “a cautious welcome” to the plan. Nine letters of objection were submitted, one accompanied by an email from local MP Sir Bill Wiggin to council chief executive Paul Walker.

“My constituent Miss Cholerton wishes to express her opposition to this development and I would be most grateful if her views could be given full consideration as part of the planning process,” it said.

Ledbury Civic Society said it welcomed extra housing provision to meet the town’s needs in a sustainable town-centre location.

But it said it was “disappointing that sustainable construction does not seem to have been considered”, which could have led to sustainable building certification also, and avoided “the building (having) to receive a likely upgrade in the not too distant future to meet zero-carbon standards”.

Herefordshire Council’s planning officer concluded that the proposal complied with the town’s development plan and national planning policy aims.

Given this, “and there being no technical reasons or demonstrable harm to dictate otherwise”, approval was given.

However this must await completion of a so-called section 106 agreement, under which the developer, the Eades Properties of Upton-upon-Severn, will undertake to either provide or fund wider infrastructure improvements.

The company said in its application that it intends “to retain the buildings as assets, rather than selling [them] on the open market”.