I AM reminded of Private Frazer from Dad's Army with his gloomy refrain, we’re all doomed. At least that was funny.

So two thousand houses are "quite likely" to be built in Ledbury according to revelations by Cllr Bob Barnes, mayor and co-chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan in last week’s Reporter.

As a member of the Neighbourhood Plan group I am frankly astonished at this news. The people of Ledbury deserve to know if is this based on any real evidence – or whether it is purely his own idle conjecture.

If true, it would call into question the whole basis of the planning consultation which has occupied so many volunteers and so much public money these last few months.

In the event that the planning inspector can impose such a massive building programme on our community at a stroke (which is doubtful), the question we are all asking ourselves is why we are bothering with an apparently futile Neighbourhood Planning exercise at all. Why don’t we just throw in the towel now and declare open season on all our green spaces and surrounding fields?

If however, these are his own personal opinions, Bob Barnes should be mindful of his influential position and reflect on the wisdom of potentially spreading alarm among the community, not to mention worrying people buying and selling houses in Ledbury. There are reports of people around the town who are concerned following his various pronouncements about so-called inevitable building developments: first it’s John Masefield High School, now it’s all points north and south which are in line for the bulldozer. There is so little to be gained by making people feel unsettled in this way.

As a leader of the Town Council and of the Neighbourhood Plan, surely his responsibility is to motivate people to stand up for themselves as a community, and galvanise action, rather than indulging in talk that plays into the hands of the aggressive building developers.

Come on Bob, start offering some positive leadership – not make us all feel hopeless and our efforts doomed to failure.

Richard Hadley

Ledbury town councillor