Greens in a Herefordshire town have attacked what they say is council backtracking on pledges to improve a key public area.

Herefordshire Council is seeking tenders for long-awaited work to improve Leominster’s Corn Square along with the neighbouring High Street, since the public were first asked for their views on it over three years ago.

But Green town councillor and former mayor Trish Marsh claimed what is now proposed for the town’s historic heart “is very different from what the public were consulted on in summer 2020”.


Most of those asked rated keeping the parking in the centre of the square “as their least favoured option”, preferring the area to become a “totally flat space, suitable for hosting all sorts of events”, she explained.

Instead the work tendered for, expected to begin in the new year, is an asphalt road around a retained central parking area, while the square’s pavements, “which are the worse for wear and regularly cause trips and falls”, will only be patched up and not renewed, Coun Marsh said.

Green county councillor for the town Jenny Bartlett added: “Shockingly, because all these changes have been made since May, there is no time for the public to be consulted on the final designs now.”


She said the public will not now get their say until the works are completed next summer, which she claimed will “prolong disagreement and confusion in our town for much longer than is necessary”.

Herefordshire Council confirmed that the pavements in Corn Square “will be repaired using matched reclaimed stone materials”.

Its spokesperson explained that to meet government guidance, “a fully level surface with pavements flush with carriageways would require traffic to be removed” – to which “valid objections” had been made earlier this year.

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Meanwhile it is under pressure to use time-limited funding for the improvements from Historic England.

But the new designs “have taken into account the longer-term aspiration to fully pedestrianise Corn Square”, its spokesperson added.

The town's High Street, Iron Cross, Victoria Street and Corn Street will also get new surfacing, wider resurfaced pavements and raised tables at junctions.