The refusal was made in line with the planning officer’s recommendation on grounds that the development would have an adverse impact on the viability of Ledbury town centre and would adversely affect the character of the conservation area.
Other reasons for refusal were that the proposal would result in the loss of high quality employment land and the location was unsustainable because it would increase reliance on the motor vehicle.
The proposal was for a store with a floorspace of 5,427.8 square metres and a petrol station.
Ledbury Town Council and Wellington Heath Parish Council objected due to the impact on the vitality of the town centre. Bosbury Parish Council and Aylton Parish Council supported the plans while Putley Parish Council was divided.
The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce supported the scheme while the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and Ledbury Civic Society opposed the plan. Ledbury Opposes Out of Centre Town Superstores (LOTS) objected on the grounds of the effect it would have on the existing High Street.
Some 992 expressions of support for the scheme were also received saying they wanted more product choice, a petrol station and to prevent people from travelling out of town to do their main shop. A petition with 2,517 signatories also supported the plan.
Some 2,409 expressions of objection were received as well as a public petition of 3,255 signatories.