A SECOND developer has proposed building a major housing estate off the Leadon Way, to the south of Ledbury.

Gladman Developments Limited has proposed 360 houses on a 38 acre site.

Bovis is also interested in building to the south, and has publically suggested 625 homes as a "theoretical capacity" for the site.

The site is currently agricultural land off the Leadon Way, the southern boundary of the Ledbury bypass.

Both proposals are contrary to Herefordshire Council's emergency planning blueprint for the town, the Core Strategy, - which wants to expand Ledbury to the north, beyond the viaduct, with an estate of up to 700 new homes.

Liz Harvey, a Herefordshire councillor for Ledbury, said she had been surprised by a second proposal to extend the town to the south.

And she called for community-led planning blueprints, such as the emergency Neighbourhood Plan and Town Plan, to decide where and how Ledbury develops, instead of developers deciding for the town.

When adopted, these two community-led plans, together with Core Strategy, should provide a legal planning blueprint for the town, for the next two decades.

But Core Strategy will be subject to a planning inspection, probably towards the end of the year, and is not likely to be adopted until next year at the earliest.

The Town and Neighbourhood Plans are still being developed.

Cllr Harvey said: "This development (the Gladman proposal) is news to me - as I'm sure it is to everyone else.

"It's very unfortunate that in Ledbury we appear to be in danger of having developers write our Neighbourhood Plan for us. We need a community-led 'Plan-B' for Ledbury - and quickly. People concerned about this further approach from out-of-area developers should start engaging with the challenges with which the Town and Neighbourhood Planning teams are wrestling. This is a once in a generation opportunity to influence how Ledbury develops and shouldn't be let slip through our fingers."

The Gladman proposal differs from the rival Bovis proposal in that the estate would not abutt the Gloucester Road, unlike the Bovis estate, but would be closer to the Dymock Road.

Gladman Developments planned to carry out a information drop to Ledbury homes at business at the end of this week.

The leaflet states: "Every Council is required by the Government to boost significantly the supply of housing and to make planning decisions in the light of a presumption in favour of sustainable development.

"Herefordshire Council do not presently have a five year supply of housing land. Approval of this development will help towards addressing the present shortfall of housing."

Gladman Developments say that up to 126 homes out of the 360 would be "affordable".