LEDBURY Town Council has voted not to support a planning application for a new cricket ground off the Ross Road.

The Town Council is concerned over the "total lack of detail" in the change of use planning application, concerning car parking and access and egress onto the proposed site.

Councillors are believe the new development would be "detrimental to the future of the town", due to the loss of open space at the existing cricket pitch site, behind the Full Pitcher pub.

"If we are going to lose the green space we have now, no way will I support this," said the Herefordshire Councillor for Ledbury, Phill Bettington.

The existing cricket club site is already subject to an associated application, by the Silverwood Partnership and Enterprise Inns, for 100 new houses.

The change of use application for a new ground, on agricultural land off the Ross Road, was submitted by the Silverwood Partnership and Ledbury Cricket Club.

Town Cllr Rob Yeoman, chairman of Ledbury Cricket and a trustee for the ground lease with Enterprise Inns, left the meeting during the debate and vote, because he had declared an interest.

Opinion was strongly divided at last week's vote, with six councillors against the idea of the new pitch, five voting in support of the new ground, and two abstaining.

Ledbury's mayor, Cllr Bob Barnes, chairman of the Ledbury Sports Federation, advised that if the application for the new ground is approved, current protection for the existing cricket club site, earmarked as green space on the current Unitary Development Plan, the town's planning blueprint, would be effectively removed under planning regulations.

This could make the site even more of a tempting target for developers.

Herefordshire Councillor for Ledbury, Liz Harvey said the new, emerging planning blueprint for the county, the Core Strategy, made provision for new sports facilities to the north of the viaduct.

"We need to bear that in mind," she said.

Cllr Harvey said of the cricket ground application: "If we value open space, we have to think very carefully about the decision we make here and now."

Cllr Christine Stallard Daniels spoke strongly in favour of a new cricket ground off Ross Road.

She said: "It's ideal. It would be close to all our other sports facilities, and would be purpose-built."

And Cllr Tony Bradford said: "If we are going to have a new pitch, that is an ideal location."

But Cllr Martin Eager said the plan revealed "a lack of car parking and coach parking."

"I can't see any provision," he said. "I think we would end up with a lot of car parking on the main road."

Cllr Terry Widdows, Herefordshire councillor for Ledbury added: "There is a distinct lack of detail."

"We have a gut feeling it's wrong," said Cllr Clive Jupp.

The final decision on the application lies with Herefordshire Council.