DOCTORS say health services in Ledbury will not be able to cope with the extra 1,250 homes planned for the town.

Bosses at St Katharine’s Surgery have objected to proposals to build another 140 homes south of Leadon Way.

The Bovis Homes scheme is for 45 fewer houses than previous plans for the site and also include highways improvements.

But health leaders say they will not support any housing schemes for the town unless they include provision of a suitable health facility to cope with the extra demand.

They say if current planning applications are granted it will result in 1,250 new homes which would bring an extra 4,000 people to Ledbury.

“Existing medical facilities will be unable to cope,” a surgery spokesperson said.

“Both GP surgeries are already working at full capacity and have neither the staff nor the space to expand within their existing premises.

“We note that the Herefordshire Core strategy for the construction of 800 new houses in Ledbury by 2031 will be exceeded by a considerable margin.

“NHS policy is encouraging a move towards care provision via ‘super practices’.

“Each unit will be expected to provide care for around 30,000 patients and the integration of GP and community services is encouraged.

“We believe it is absolutely essential for any plan for the future of Ledbury includes the provision of a suitable facility to support the healthcare provision for its residents, and, until that assurance is given we will be unable to support this, or any other local planning applications.”

Architects working the scheme say the new proposals have been shaped and informed by consultation with Herefordshire Council and the local community.

They also say they have taken on board the neighbourhood development plan.

“The overall scale of the proposals has been reduced removing the proposed area of new housing to the east beyond the existing established hedgerow, and to the south between the two woodland plantations. This will now remain agricultural land.”

The new plans also include a cycle and pedestrian link between new homes and Jubilee Close.

The town council’s economic development & planning committee is expected to give its view on the scheme at a 7.30pm meeting today.

And residents have until August 22 to comment on the proposals which Herefordshire Council planners should consider by October 16.