FORMER Ledbury mayor, Bob Barnes, has denied withholding information from the Neighbourhood Plan working party, concerning a possible new sports ground for Ledbury.

The Neighbourhood Plan is one of the planning blueprints for the future development of Ledbury, and sporting provision will be a part of it.

Ledbury could get a 20 acre sports ground if and when the New Street football ground is built on.

But town and county councillor, Liz Harvey, is asking why this information has only recently been made public.

Cllr Harvey's criticism of Cllr Barnes has come after Roy Green, director of Property Services Ledbury, which owns the New Street football ground site, said Cllr Barnes should have made other councillors aware last year of what was being suggested, to help speed up the process.

In a letter to Cllr Harvey, Mr Green said: "In order to achieve the new sporting facilities for Ledbury, we have joined with Ledbury Swifts FC but we both need all the councillors and the community behind us in our efforts. "If Bob Barnes had made the other councillors aware of our plans last year we could have already been on a more positive path for the benefit of all."

The working party was dissolved at last week's full town council meeting, and placed in the hands of consultants and the full town council.

But Cllr Harvey, in a letter to Ledbury's mayor, Cllr Annette Crowe, and forwarded by Cllr Harvey to the Ledbury Reporter, has asked why Cllr Barnes' knowledge of a possible new sports ground was not make available to the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party, of which he was a member and, at the time, its chairman.

Cllr Harvey said the information Cllr Barnes had was "pertinent to neighbourhood planning".

Cllr Barnes said he had held conversations with Mr Green of Property Solutions Ledbury, but he said: "Nothing was resolved. Nothing was withheld."

He said he had put the case to Property Solutions Ledbury that if the ground is built on, "new facilities should be provided."

Property Solutions Ledbury revealed last month that it was looking at helping to provide a new sports ground for Ledbury.

No details have been made public as to its likely whereabouts.