ANGER is growing in Ledbury over Bloor Homes' emerging transport plan for its proposed new estate to the north of the viaduct.

The plan calls for traffic signals at an already congested junction, by Ledbury train station, and a new roundabout on the Bromyard Road – and there would be new pedestrian crossings across the busy Hereford Road.

Ledbury residents, in a heated debate on social media, have called the proposals a potential "traffic disaster" that could cause "havoc" in the town centre.

The current plan, which is in the process of being completed by Bloor, before being submitted to Herefordshire Council, still allows for one point of vehicular access to a proposed new 625 home housing estate, off the Bromyard Road, despite public clamour that this would cause traffic jams.

The plan does, however, allow for pedestrian and cycle access to the new estate, under Ledbury viaduct.

Under Herefordshire's Council's planning blueprint for the next two decades, the Core Strategy, the land to the north of the viaduct is earmarked for 625 new homes, and Bloor Homes wants to build them.

But Bloor recognises that access under Ledbury's railway bridge, at the Hereford Road and Bromyard Road junction, could cause traffic problems, and its answer is to install traffic signals.

Nick Rawlings, Bloor's planning director said there would be "a signalled arrangement at that junction" and "controlled crossings" over the Hereford Road to allow better access to the Town Trail and Riverside Walk beauty spots.

Concerning access to the proposed new estate, he said: "We are proposing to take pedestrians and cyclists under the viaduct."

But the single vehicular access to the estate would still be off the Bromyard Road, with the exception of an emergency access for emergency services.

When asked about vehicular access under the viaduct, Mr Rawlings said: "The Bromyard Road option is better."

Access there would be in the form of a new roundabout.

The single access idea has long caused anxiety for some local people.

In May 2017, Peter Constantine, who chairs the Wellington Heath Neighbourhood Development Plan, said the proposal would cause greater traffic congestion and rat runs through the village.

This week, posting on the Voice of Ledbury Facebook site, local resident Justin Bates said: " A developer doing their own traffic assessment isn't worth the paper it's written on and shouldn't be taken into account. This development should be dependent on second access under the viaduct and a considerable contribution to facilities and amenities for the community.

"Ledbury Town Council and our local county council representatives need to fight tooth and nail to make this point."

Gary Troy warned of "traffic disaster and infrastructure disaster".

Jackie Tweedale said: "There are large lorries using the Bromyard Road for business and combined with more car traffic, it is going to get worse."

Teresa Potter said: "This will cause havoc through the town centre."

But town and county councillor Liz Harvey, also posting on the Voice of Ledbury site, said: "Clearly, the proposed single access on the Bromyard Rd isn't satisfactory as far as most commentators here are concerned.

"Bloor are on their third or fourth Transport Assessment now and have recently engaged new consultants. None of the previous solutions proposed have given workable solutions to the station junction. It will be interesting to see what this one comes up with."

Meanwhile, there are no answers as to when Barratt will be able to resume building its Hawk Rise estate off Leadon Way.

Herefordshire Council recently saw the planning permission it granted for a 321-home Barratt estate at the site being "quashed" through a Judicial Review, launched by Meadow Cheese, after the factory expressed concerned about noise levels from its site and the effect this would have on the estate homes.

A Herefordshire Council spokesman said: "We understand that Barratt are progressing with additional noise surveys and will submit to the local planning authority in due course.

"If the application is refused, the applicant will have the ability to either appeal the decision or submit a further reserved matters application with changes to overcome the refusal reason."

A Barratt spokesman said: "We are involved in ongoing discussions with all parties, including Herefordshire Council and the factory adjacent to the development.”