Plans to build a supermarket, health centre and nursery in Ledbury have again been refused.

The proposal for land off Leadon Way, which included a Lidl store, was turned down by planning inspector Matthew Shrigley on September 21 following a site visit in August.

Applicants Deeley Properties had appealed against Herefordshire Council’s initial refusal of the plans back in January 2021.

READ MORE: Plans to build Lidl, GP surgery and nursery in Ledbury go to appeal

Ledbury Town Council had expressed concern that a new Lidl would have a negative impact on shops in the town centre including Ledbury’s existing Tesco, Aldi and Co-op stores.

Ledbury Reporter: The inspector said the Lidl plans would have impact on town centre stores including TescoThe inspector said the Lidl plans would have impact on town centre stores including Tesco (Image: Google Maps)

Mr Shrigley, in his appeal decision, said the retail impact of the development on the town centre was the main issue for him to consider.

“Based on the evidence there is likely to be a direct erosion in town centre trade which would represent a significant adverse impact on existing vitality levels,” he said.

Plans included 'no binding commitment' to build medical centre

“For other town centre locations, a balanced shopping mix may not be as critical to their vitality, but not in the case of Ledbury.

“I have substantial concerns that allowing a second out of town store of the scale proposed poses serious risks to maintaining low vacancy rates and the continued economic success of Ledbury’s retail centre.

“It would divert trade away from the retail core. The effect would be harmful.”

Mr Shrigley said this was the case even taking into account the hundreds of new homes being built off Leadon Way and the jobs that would be created by the development.

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He also expressed concern that there was no guarantee the proposed medical centre would even be built. This was despite discussions with “local medical practitioners” that had given him positive assurances.

The inspector added: “There is no binding planning commitment which would guarantee all of the uses would be successfully delivered if the appeal was allowed.

“In conclusion, taking all matters raised in the round I do not find the overall benefits of the development would outweigh the adverse impacts. For the reasons given above the appeal does not succeed.”