LEDBURY Town Council supported the installation of the new controversial new door in the Barrett Browning Institute on two separate occasions.

The council supported the initial applications in 2016 and then again, after three years, when the initial permissions had lapsed. But an earlier release from the town council appeared to distance the town council from the installation of the door.

That earlier statement said: “There has been considerable discussion about the new door. Much has been unfairly aimed at Ledbury Town Council. The plans for the new door were first considered in 2016, with a further application with some amendments being received in January 2020. Many of the town councillors now serving were not in office at the time of the original application and when considering the amended plans earlier this year, these did not include any amendments to the already agreed plans for the new door.”

Final decisions on any planning applications lie with the county council.

The Town Council's second official statement concerning the new door is as follows, here given in full:

Further to the statement made by Ledbury Town Council yesterday (15.12.2020) clarification has been sought from the Herefordshire Council Planning Case Officer in respect of the recent works to the Barrett Browning Institute, in particular the new door on the eastern elevation of the building.

The original applications P153747 and P153747 (listed building consent) were considered by Ledbury Town Council in February 2016, at which time the then Planning Committee made a recommendation to support the application.

Unfortunately, the 2016 permission had formally lapsed as no works had commenced within the three-year period and accordingly, applications P200047 and P200048 (listed building consent) were new planning applications to reinstate the original permission.

Ledbury Town Council were formally consulted on the application to reinstate the original permission and they raised No Objections, due to the recommendation to support the application having been issued by the Planning Committee in 2016.

A site notice was posted by Herefordshire Council in early 2020 to which no representations were received and we have been advised that only one representation was received in respect of the 2016 application, which was from Ledbury Civic Society in support of the application.

The site, which is listed, was also formally consulted with internally with Herefordshire Council’s Building Conservation Officer, their response was as follows:

“No objection. The proposals retain slightly more of the original layout and fabric of the listed building than the previously approved plans, and the enlarged door is of more suitable design”.

In response to concerns being raised by many residents of Ledbury the Case Officer has advised that if anyone feels that the works have not been carried out in accordance with the approved plans, that they contact Planning Enforcement to investigate any alleged breach and take action, if necessary, particularly as the building is listed.