Controversial plans to build 625 homes on land near Ledbury viaduct will be submitted to Herefordshire planners “in due course”.

Developer Bloor Homes confirmed it is in pre-application discussions with Herefordshire Council having been granted outline planning permission on appeal last year.

A spokesperson said: “Having been granted outline planning consent by the Secretary of State on Appeal, Bloor are now engaged in pre-application advice discussions with Herefordshire Council on the details of an emerging first phase development of new homes which will be submitted for approval in due course.”

Herefordshire Council turned down plans to develop the site in December 2019 over concerns the site would have only one access road onto the Bromyard road.

Initial consultations for the development had included an additional access road going under the viaduct, but Bloor Homes said this would pose a health and safety risk.

The developer said its plans would, however, include upgrades to the Bromyard Road, Hereford Road and The Homend junction, including a pedestrian-controlled crossing and improved layout.

Bloor Homes appealed the decision by Herefordshire Council planners and in February 2020 the county council withdrew its reasons for refusal to limit the cost of defending and losing the case.

Ledbury Reporter: Plans for the viaduct site include space for employment landPlans for the viaduct site include space for employment land

The fight was taken up by Ledbury Town Council, but the then housing secretary Robert Jenrick found in favour of Bloor Homes after his inspector said a second access road would provide no discernible benefit.

In the aftermath of that decision, Ledbury town councillor John Bannister said the “serious shortcomings” of the plans were something residents would have to live with.

Last week, we reported on proposals to improve employment opportunities in Ledbury by building high tech business units on part of the viaduct site that has been allocated to employment.

The Market Town Investment Plans, which was being put before Herefordshire Council’s cabinet last week, said the units would attract Hereford’s new NMITE university and what it referred to as “spin-out businesses”.

The report also suggested building student accommodation on the viaduct site to further capitalise on the opening of the new NMITE campus.