Villagers voice fears over plan for 150 homes on 'prime' farm land in Kingstone

First published in News by

FEARS, complaints and concerns were all aired by villagers who gathered to debate a plan to build 150 homes in their community.

Archihaus is the developer looking to create the estate in Kingstone.

The Upper Twyford-based firm believes the plan it submitted to Herefordshire Council will help to solve the lack of affordable housing in the county.

The planning application was laid out to villagers at a parish council meeting on Monday but was far from popular. Out of a total of 65 attending, 63 voted against the proposal.

David Morton is one of those opposed to the homes.

“How could anyone with any knowledge and an understanding of the local environment seriously consider developing a parcel of prime agricultural land, in this location, at this time?” he asked in a letter to the council.

“The current village infrastructure is only just adequate for the needs of the existing population.

“There is a need for affordable housing within the rural community to prevent the exodus of young people from the area, but there is little demand for higher-end housing of the type proposed by Archihaus.”

Some of those attending raised concerns that the development would lead to an increase in traffic, while fears that schools and surgeries would not be able to cope with the added numbers were also expressed.

Archihaus director Jonathan Hines told the Hereford Times in February that his vision is to create high quality homes that people can afford.

He said that the number of homes planned for the site off the B4349 is about half the amount a developer would propose for one that size.

Mr Hines added that 25 per cent of the homes would be classed as “affordable.”

He does at least have the support of Toni Mapp who said, in a letter to the council, that Archihaus has taken her concerns into consideration.

She added: “We trust Archihaus to work with the community if the development is given the go ahead.”

Lena Aston, from Whitecross, Hereford, has also written to the local authority, saying that she is looking to downsize and would consider moving to the village should the plans be granted.

Representations can be made to Herefordshire Council up until April 18.

à A separate application to build 35 homes on land at the rear of White House Drive in Kingstone was refused by planners earlier this month.

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