IN its response to the Local Plan consultation, Ross-on-Wye Town Council has stated that the proposal for 1,800 new dwellings was not ‘appropriate’.

Herefordshire Council’s draft Local Plan document sets out how the county could grow in the longer term and relates to new development of housing, businesses and industry as well as identifying the infrastructure to support such growth.

In a statement the council said: “The proportion of houses is not appropriate. Ross is expected to deliver 1,800 new homes within the plan period, which runs until 2041. This is a significant increase in terms of the number of homes and overall population.”

The council says that in contrast Hereford and other market towns are expected to increase their populations by a significantly smaller percentage.

The statement continues: “Ledbury, Leominster and Hereford have existing rail connections which can contribute significantly to the sustainability of any future development within those areas. Ross has easy access to the M50, so development in the town will be focused on trip generation by car.”

The town council supports the development of the proposed Model Farm Enterprise park, however it is concerned by the proposal of an urban extension of a minimum of 1,000 homes to the east of the town and would not support this as it is disproportionate to the size of the existing town.

Support has been given to the percentage of affordable housing planned, however it was noted that the percentage in other market towns is much lower, and it is felt that this should be increased to offer parity.

The town council has also expressed concerns regarding the impact of the additional developments planned for locations near to Ross: “Alongside development within Ross, the additional development of locations nearby will add additional pressure on services with the town,” the statement added.

“Weston-under-Penyard and Lea are expected to expand significantly with no provision for healthcare facilities or secondary education places. It is likely this will add additional pressure within Ross.”

The Local Plan consultation also sets out what land should be kept available for recreation, farming and wildlife.