PROPOSALS to build another 450 houses on a new greenfield site south of Ledbury have caused bewilderment among those who keep an eye on development in the town.

Former Ledbury mayor Council Phillip Howells blasted the scheme, saying: “Developers just want to build in Ledbury and Ross because they are near the M50.”

The plan for land to the south of Leadon Way next to Gloucester Road features in Herefordshire Council’s new draft local plan, the county’s core planning document that will set out what gets built where between now and 2041, on which public consultation is now under way.

Ledbury and District Civic Society chairman Mark Lister claimed the town “has already accepted more than its share of new housing and without matching provision of necessary infrastructure”.

Such a large new estate “will only make existing problems worse: traffic and parking problems in and around the town; pressure on schools, health services and other infrastructure”, he said.

And Coun Howells, a member of the town council’s planning committee, said he was “alarmed” to see the site being put forward so soon after residents voted last May to approve Ledbury’s neighbourhood development plan, which makes no mention of it.

“It goes against the town’s settlement boundary and green corridors agreed by the community,” he said.

“Ledbury is already 50 per cent over the (target new homes) figure for the current local plan, and the 650 new houses to the north of the town is three-quarters of its requirement by 2031,” he added.

And while the county council as local planning authority may seek to encourage new building, particularly of affordable homes, where there is local need, developers are just wanting to build close to the motorway.

Meanwhile Ledbury “looks like a building site, which is set to continue, and people are already complaining about the traffic”, he added.

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson would only say: “We welcome all feedback on the proposals and encourage as many people as possible to have their say.”

Views on the local plan can be submitted at .