A Herefordshire parish councillor has hit back after villagers mounted a campaign against a local policy for which he was responsible.

Last week 20 residents of Callow and Haywood protested at what they claimed was “bad law” imposed on them by the parish’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP), which promotes development specifically in the village of Grafton.

The issue had earlier forced a parish council meeting to be abandoned, amid what Coun Tony Priddle called “complete anarchy”. A petition against the policy has, meanwhile, drawn more than 60 signatures.

“It appears that there is a party that is trying to undermine the current NDP, in an attempt to favour a personal planning application,” he said.

“Unfortunately, attempts to do this with gossip, personal online attacks, and now the petition, just serve to engender disharmony and mistrust in the parish.”


Beginning in 2014, Coun Priddle chaired a steering group to draft the NDP, the parish’s first, along with six other councillors, two of them from Grafton, he said.

“Adjustments to the draft NDP were required after the issue [in October 2015] of a new Core Strategy for the county, which demanded certain areas for housing development in the parish,” he said.

These were agreed with council officers in charge of both neighbourhood and county plans, and a revised form of words then drafted by planning consultant Louise Kirkup.

“This was put to the parish council, approved and minuted, and the revised NDP was then put to a six-week public consultation,” Coun Priddle said.

“At every stage the proper NDP process was followed, and the full community properly consulted.”

He said that with a revised local plan for the county now being put together, “there should be unity to ensure that the plan is fair and effective”.