A DEVELOPER has promised to install lighting on the Leadon Way roundabout after complaints that the junction is an 'accident waiting to happen'.

The roundabout on Ledbury bypass was installed last year to provide access to the new Hawk Rise estate, which is yet to be built.

Both the developer Barratt and councillors agree roundabout lighting should be installed, with residents fearing a serious accident will happen due to the lack of visibility at night.

Resident Sarah Jayne Evans said the roundabout was an accident waiting to happen, adding: "The lighting is a must. It’s so dangerous."

While Emma Ridler said: "It's frankly appalling and I'm amazed there hasn't been an accident there yet. I thought things like this were supposed to be overseen and approved by the civil engineering department.

Chris Whittaker added: "The developers are prohibited from building at the moment, but why is that an excuse for not finishing the roundabout? This is a safety issue."

Debate about the roundabout has been heightened since last week's Ledbury Reporter front page about the 'stalled' building of the Hawk Rise estate.

Now Barratt has heeded local concerns about lighting on the roundabout, with a spokesman saying this week: “As a leading housebuilder, safety is our top priority and we will be installing lighting on the roundabout on Leadon Way in order to improve visibility for motorists."

No date has been given as yet.

Barratt is still in talks with the planning authority, Herefordshire Council, in order to re-gain planning permission for the new estate.

Building consent was removed after a nearby factory, Meadow Cheese, raised concerns in the High Court about how the factory's noise levels might affect residents of Hawk Rise.

The roundabout for access to Hawk Rise has been unlit for six months.

Town and county councillor Liz Harvey told the Reporter that she believed that installing lighting was the duty of the highways authority and its contractor Balfour Beatty, and not the developer.

She said: "I was advised at Christmas, when I raised concerns about the safety of the roundabout and the out-of-date junction signage which had been allowed to remain installed, that the lighting was a long-time item that was on order and expected within six to eight weeks – so that’s up any time now.

"When the judicial review by the cheese factory quashed the detailed planning permission, I think that Herefordshire Council officers took their eye off the ball as regards the whole site and didn’t follow up on the installation of the vehicle access as they should have done."

Cllr Harvey added: "It wasn’t until Cllr Warmington and I asked awkward questions that there was some scurrying around and cones and blinkers were installed, junction signs taken down, 40mph signs installed, and damaged street lighting at the nearby Full Pitcher roundabout was repaired."

Herefordshire Council was contacted for a comment about the roundabout lighting situation but did not provide one before we went to press.