People in Ledbury have made it clear they think a proposed new 450-home estate will only add to existing strains on it.

More than100 people attended a public consultation on Herefordshire’s draft local plan held last week in Ledbury’s Burgage Hall, according to Coun Stef Simmons, ward member for Ledbury South who was there to hear their views.

“The strength of feeling was clear,” she said.

“Ledbury has already had over 1,200 new homes built or in the process of being built and can’t accommodate a further strategic allocation of 450 houses within the plan period.”

Under the draft plan, covering the period up to 2041, these would chiefly be built on a parcel of farmland referred to simply as “Land south of Ledbury”, between the A449 Leadon Way and A417 Ledbury Road.

Residents raised concerns about the lack of infrastructure in the town, such as schools and health facilities, needed to support further growth, as well as the lack of affordable houses for locals, and the loss of best-grade agricultural land, Coun Simmons said.

Her Facebook post announcing the event drew over 140 comments from residents, many also making these points.

“A large health centre is needed with double the capacity,” Pauline Spenceley wrote. “And more affordable housing – Ledbury doesn’t need any more large detached houses.”

“I’d like to see all additional housing planning postponed until after the social and public services and infrastructure are built to accommodate the Ledbury population already in place or anticipated in approved plans,” Melvyn Lockie added.

Cllr Simmons explained that at this stage, “nothing in the plan is set in stone” and that county planners “will not just pay lip service” to residents’ views.

“We now need to be quite strong in saying that isn’t the right place, and looking at other options for the town,” she added.

The online consultation, at, is open until Monday May 20. Already 73 views on the Ledbury draft plan have been submitted this way, as well as those by letter and email.