PLANS to build up to 625 homes in Ledbury have been given the go-ahead.
Herefordshire Council turned down Bloor Homes’ plans to develop land north of the viaduct over access concerns in December 2019.
But now an appeal had been granted in their favour.
Initial consultations for the site had included two road accesses to the site with one going under the railway viaduct.
However, the final proposals which were submitted to Herefordshire Council included just a single access onto the Bromyard road.
More than 1,000 people, who took part in a poll, agreed that a second access onto the Hereford road was needed, this view is supported by town council and nearby Wellington Heath parish council — and the planning committee agreed.
But Bloor representatives said that building a new road under the arches of the 19th-century grade II listed railway viaduct would pose a health and safety risk.
They also said their plans would improve the Bromyard Road, Hereford Road, and The Homend junction with a pedestrian-controlled crossing and upgraded layout for lorries to manoeuvre.
However, the committee rejected the scheme by 10 votes to three with one abstention.
The county council then withdrew its reasons for refusal in February 2020 to limit the costs they may incur for defending and losing the case.
And Ledbury Town Council stepped in to defend the case. The town council applied for and was granted Rule 6 status to take part in the appeal.
Bloor Homes then appealed this decision and now a planning inspector recommended allowing the appeal and granting planning permission and the Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick agreed with their conclusion.
“The Secretary of State agrees with the inspector’s conclusion that the proposed mitigation measures at the Station Junction would adequately mitigate the effect of the proposal on the local highway network and the impact of the proposal on the capacity of the junction would not be severe,” the appeal decision reads.
An application for a full award of costs was made by Bloor Homes Western against Herefordshire Council and Ledbury Town Council and is subject to a separate decision.