LEDBURY needs more affordable housing for town residents is the cry as a controversial housing plan is set to be decided upon.

A plan to replace a bungalow in Ledbury with a block of 53 retirement flats will be decided on next week.

Proposed by McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles, the three- and four-storey building would consist of 30 one-bedroom and 23 two-bedroom flats, accessed from the Homend immediately north of Ledbury town centre.

The developer has claimed the scheme would not be financially viable if a proportion of the flats were to be sold under affordable terms, or if it had to pay into supporting local infrastructure – claims backed in a report prepared for the Government’s Valuation Office Agency.


The town council has objected that without an affordable element, the scheme “will do nothing to help the desperate need for close-to-town housing for the less well-off in Ledbury, who have the greatest need for retirement-type accommodation”.

Instead, “it is very likely that few of the apartments will be occupied by Ledbury residents”, contrary to the town’s development plan, the town councillors pointed out.


The plan has also drawn 25 letters of objection from the public.

Local ward member Coun Liz Harvey asked for the proposal to be determined by Herefordshire Council’s planning committee, which will now happen next Wednesday (October 25).

In a report for the meeting, planning officer Chloe Smart recommends approving the plan, citing its “highly sustainable location”, and adding that the “additional town-centre population [would] contribute to the local economy”.