LEDBURY has ‘the roundabout to nowhere’ at present, on the Leadon Way stretch of the town’s bypass, because Barratt Homes has stopped building the estate the roundabout was meant to serve, following a Judicial Review.

Heads are talking in Ledbury following a successful legal challenge in the High Court, brought by Ornua, the owners of nearby business Meadow Cheese, which stopped the construction of the planned 247-home “Hawk Rise” estate, which currently is not rising at all.

Nor is there any indication of when the building work off Leadon Way will resume.

But Barratt is to ask Herefordshire Council to redetermine the planning application which it approved, and which led to the legal challenge from Ornua, the company which also owns the butter giant, Kerrygold.

A Barratt spokesman sounded an optimistic note, saying: “Following a judicial review challenge against Herefordshire Council, it has been decided that the previous reserved matters consent for our Hawk Rise development should be reassessed by Herefordshire Council.

“Therefore we have stopped construction work at the development until the application has been reviewed by the local authority and reserved matters consent is granted.”

But with Herefordshire Council only saying it will “re-determine” the application, without promising any particular outcome, the consequences of the judicial review means that a question mark must now hang over plans to develop the fields opposite the Martins Way roundabout, on Leadon Way: even though the large roundabout has been built, the fields have been prepared, ditches have been dug and pipes have been laid.

A Herefordshire Council spokesman said: “Ornua Ltd (Meadow Cheese) brought the claim. Herefordshire Council was the defendant, because it was our decision, and Barratt was the Interested Party

“Herefordshire Council can confirm that the Reserved Matters approval for Barratt Homes on land at Leadon Way, Ledbury was quashed in the High Court and development has ceased. Once Barratt Homes has submitted any further information that it may wish to, further consultation will be undertaken, and the application will be re-determined by the local planning authority.”

Two developers were keen to develop at Leadon Way, with Barratt actually starting work, including building the roundabout.

But in July, Bovis Homes withdrew its appeal against non-determination of an outline planning application for 185 homes on land south of Leadon Way, effectively withdrawing its planning application in the process.

At the time, a Bovis spokesman said the decision was down to the publication of the draft Ledbury Neighbourhood Development Plan, which affected “the likelihood of successfully gaining planning permission via appeal”.

The reason for Ornua (Meadow Cheese) launching a judicial review of Barratt’s planning permission had not been made clear at the time of going to press.

An Ornua spokesman said: “The planning application is going back to Herefordshire Council to be re-determined. As such, at this stage we don’t feel it’s appropriate to make any further comment.’

Meanwhile, Ledbury bypass at Leadon Way only has the big new roundabout to show for all the planning battles: a roundabout which has already been a bone of contention for local motorists.

In May, following complaints about speed restrictions along the stretch, while the roundabout was being built, Barratt issued an apology to motorists.

A statement said: “We appreciate the patience and co-operation of local residents at this time.”

The big roundabout was to provide access to the Hawk Rise estate but now currently only serves as an effective traffic calming measure along Leadon Way.