Big plans for Herefordshire town have been quietly dropped

The proposed development map of Leominster, and Coun Mark Woodall <i>(Image: Herefordshire Council; Green Party)</i>
The proposed development map of Leominster, and Coun Mark Woodall (Image: Herefordshire Council; Green Party)

A Herefordshire town will get fewer new homes, and even fewer affordable ones, than elsewhere in the county under new growth plans.

Leominster is due to get 280 new homes under Herefordshire’s draft local plan covering the period up to 2041, of which around 200 will be on a plot of undeveloped land off Hereford Road south of the primary school.

This compares with targets of 1,059 new homes for Ross-on-Wye and 646 for Ledbury – both of which currently have smaller populations than Leominster.

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But an even more marked contrast is that while the share of new houses in the two smaller towns and also in Bromyard that are to be “affordable” has been set at 35 per cent, for Leominster the figure is just 15 per cent.

The draft plan “shows north Herefordshire as less attractive for development than the south of the county”, local ward and town councillor Mark Woodall said.

“Leominster has been a difficult place for developers for a good ten years now, and that lack of development looks like continuing,” he added.


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This not only risks a further drain of local workers and jobs away from the town, but also a lack of so-called “section 106” funding for wider infrastructure improvements arising from large-scale developments, he pointed out.

And while Leominster’s much larger and long-standing “southern urban extension” proposal for around 1,500 new homes around a new west-south link road remains on ice, “we still want to keep this alive”, Coun Woodall said.

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Residents have until Monday May 20 to submit views on the draft local plan. As of 1pm on the preceding Friday, just 15 responses have been made to the Leominster section of the consultation website (hlp.commonplace.is) compared to 85 for Ledbury and 166 for Ross-on-Wye.

One commented on the proposed 20 more hectares of employment land in Leominster: “I work on the Leominster Enterprise Park and there are empty units already.

“Is it over-optimistic to assume that thriving businesses able to provide employment will take the existing empty units, plus the empty town centre units, as well as all the extra proposed units?”