LEDBURY councillors fear Herefordshire Council wants to ‘pave over the town’ with hundreds of new homes.

Town councillors expressed their concerns while debating proposals for Bovis Homes’ plans for 140 homes on land south of Leadon Way at a meeting last week.

If current proposals for Ledbury get the go-ahead it will result in 1,250 new homes which would bring around 4,000 extra people to the town.

Councillors feel the vision set out in Ledbury’s neighbourhood development plan should be defended and unsustainable housing sites should be rejected.

Councillor Liz Harvey proposed that the town council should ask for more time to consider the scheme.

“We need to give this a little bit more thought. We need to compare the response we gave to the slightly larger application with the changes that are being made on this one,” she said.

NDP working party member Paul Kinnaird told the economic development and planning committee that 270 people had objected to the previous plans for 185 homes on the site.

“My objection is that they have not considered the Ledbury neighbourhood development plan,” he said.

“In particular, policies to do with renewable energy, water recycling, self- build opportunities to make Ledbury a sustainable community.

He said he felt developers wanted an extra roundabout to gain access to develop the rest of the land.

Vice-chairman John Bannister said: “We cannot trust Herefordshire Council to protect our plan.

“They have got their own agenda and they are going to be happy to pave over Ledbury if it suits it.”

Coun Harvey said planning officers feel it would be more difficult for them to robustly defend their position to recommend refusal for 420 homes on the Dymock Road site if the town doesn’t accept plans for 625 on land north of the Viaduct.

“That is a fallacious position for them to take up,” she said.

“Because the Dymock road site is just as policy non-compliant in all regard irrespective of what happens on the Viaduct site.

“We have an adopted plan, it falls outside the plan, we have a three year housing land supply. Defend us robustly.”

Last week, local voters also had their say on whether a single access road to a proposed site for 625 homes north of the Viaduct was sufficient.

A total of 1022 voted that they considered the access was not satisfactory against 49.