A SENIOR Conservative councillor has warned that failing to build a Hereford bypass could lead to more homes being built in rural parts of the county.

Herefordshire Council officers said the proposals for a road to the west of Hereford included building some 6,500 in the city, and creating 6,000 jobs.

However, if the road is not built, Tory deputy group leader Nigel Shaw says the new homes will have to be shared across the county.

He said his group is trying to avoid this by looking to form an alliance with other pro-bypass councillors.

“It’s the unforeseen consequences of not building the road,” he said.

“The roughly 6,500 homes require the road to open the land for development.

“If they aren’t built in Hereford, the Government will still require us to build them elsewhere.

“This could mean some villages would see their housing target increase from 50 to 150.”

He said the business case for an alternative route going east would not stack up.

“The business case for the road going west is tight but the Government can see that it would be opening up land to commercial and residential development.”

Councillor Shaw said he is hoping to work with others to form a pro-bypass coalition to run the county council.

“The red line for us is the western bypass,” he said.

“There are councillors across other groups who are in favour of the road and an alliance around it could be formed.”

Coun Shaw said if the county council loses its chance to bid for funding for the new road he doubts he will see one built in the city during his lifetime.