NEW plans for a huge housing development to the north of Ledbury have been called "appalling" and "dangerous" by objectors.

Bloor Homes Western has just submitted to Herefordshire Council an application for up to 625 new homes on land between the railway viaduct and Bromyard Road, as well as 2.9 hectares of employment land.

But the plan has only one entrance for vehicles, even though a public consultation held several months ago identified a second access as one of the biggest concerns among townspeople.

The proposed entrance is off Bromyard Road, with the applicant proposing a four-arm roundabout. An entrance going under the viaduct off the Hereford Road/Leadon Way roundabout was considered, but the Bromyard Road option was considered the "most viable and achievable option".

But residents who have already lodged objections on the council website are scathing about the proposed arrangements.

Rachel Keighley says the development will "significantly increase" traffic in Bromyard Road.

She said: "This proposal will have an appalling impact by increasing traffic at peak times onto this already congested road and junction.

"As residents of Rhea Lane we already experience and increase of traffic at peak times when workers are leaving the factories.

"The proposed access will make Rhea Lane into a dangerous rat run."

And Eileen Cotton wrote: "My main concern regarding this application is the road access. Assuming they are not going to knock down the viaduct then the only way into Ledbury is via B4214. Where this road joins Ledbury at the junction of the Homend and the road down to the ring road is already a bottleneck at regular times of the day.

"There are lorries going up and down to the Business Park, there is a coach business on that corner and this is the main road through town as well as the junction for the railway station."

Chris Treanor said the development represented an extra 1,000 residents, or ten per cent of the existing population, which would have an impact on services such as schools and GP surgeries.

He said: "Such a a large development relative to the size of the town without the proper supporting infrastructure will be detrimental to current and future residents."

Norman Brown said: "A single access is totally inadequate. I dread to think what may happen if there is a major incident. Emergency services need an alternative access point for a development this size."

The principle of developing the land north of the viaduct is established in Herefordshire Council's core strategy.

Nick Rawlings, planning director at Bloor Homes Western, said: “The planning application includes a comprehensive transport assessment, the scope of which has been agreed with Herefordshire Council as the highway authority. The assessment concludes that the highway network can satisfactorily accommodate the traffic levels which would be generated by the proposed development."

The company hopes the outline application will be decided in late summer. If it is approved, a detailed application will be submitted before the end of the year, with a view to starting work in spring 2018.