Village fear over possibility of 157 more houses coming to Lea

Lea villagers overlooking one of the sites for proposed in the village.Photo: David Griffiths.

Lea villagers overlooking one of the sites for proposed in the village.Photo: David Griffiths.

First published in News
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Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

PEOPLE living near Ross-on-Wye are fearing for the future after a sixth planning application to build housing in their village was submitted.

Lea is just one of many places in Herefordshire under the eye of developers.

And those living in Lea are worried that the plans - which total 157 proposed homes - could change the character of their community forever.

There are currently 218 properties in Lea, meaning that if all the proposals were given the green light, the number of homes in the village would increase by 72 per cent.

Steve Banner, chairman of Lea Action Group, said: "I cannot express my horror about this prospect. Lea has a problem with its surface water and drainage system and the centre of the village is prone to flooding.

"Lea straddles the A40 and has its own pub, school and petrol station, so I understand why it is being targeted, but this is getting to the craziness stage."

MLN (Land and Properties) Ltd is the latest developer with Lea in its sights.

It has put forward outline plans for 38 homes adjacent to the B4222.

Other applications include a scheme for 44 houses on land adjacent to Lea Hall pitched by North Oak Homes, while Bell Homes Ltd want to build 28 properties at Castle End.

BH Savidge & Son has submitted plans for 39 homes on land adjacent to the village's petrol station, Mr and Mrs G. Palmer want to build four homes in the village and Townsend House & Haines Ltd has submitted outline plans for four homes at Hunters Hall.

But it's not just people living in Lea that are worried about the prospect of more homes.

Other applications include a 120-home scheme in Bromyard, 80 homes for Clehonger and 57 properties in Leintwardine.

Alison Kay, chairman of Leintwardine Parish Council, believes that a planning loophole means developers have the luxury to target wherever they want.

"The application in Leintwardine appears to be one of several speculative developments being proposed across Herefordshire," she said.

So far this year, Herefordshire Council's planning committee members have discussed 30 applications for 742 homes.

And yesterday (Wednesday) a further three applications for 211 houses were to be debated.

That compares to 34 proposals for 1,099 properties during the whole of last year.

Only six of the 30 applications have been refused.

Richard Williams, spokesman for the Herefordshire Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said the rise in applications is due to Herefordshire Council not meeting its statutory obligations in identifying a five-year land supply.

Therefore, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which became law in 2012, trumps any local neighbourhood development plans unless there are adverse impacts which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh any benefits.

"Developers are therefore using a window of opportunity to looking for developments at often inappropriate sites before locals can have their say," said Mr Williams.

Comments (3)

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11:23am Fri 29 Aug 14

Gnomie says...

Lea's inhabitants are quite right to be appalled by the prospect of so many more houses. All these extra dwellings are bound to exacerbate the already-severe surface water flooding problems the village has to endure; problems that are made even worse by the regularity with which its decrepit sewers overflow during periods of heavy rainfall. Most of the proposals for development have severe drawbacks, but the worst is a plan to build 28 houses slap-bang-next-door to the village primary school potentially giving householders a grandstand view of children in the classrooms and playground. Fearful of the sort of people such an arrangement might attract and anxious to safeguard pupils, the school is already talking in terms of erecting a high security fence. Do we really want to see children corralled in what will resemble a prison camp so that greedy landowners, developers and their agents can line their pockets? Child safety must come first.
Lea's inhabitants are quite right to be appalled by the prospect of so many more houses. All these extra dwellings are bound to exacerbate the already-severe surface water flooding problems the village has to endure; problems that are made even worse by the regularity with which its decrepit sewers overflow during periods of heavy rainfall. Most of the proposals for development have severe drawbacks, but the worst is a plan to build 28 houses slap-bang-next-door to the village primary school potentially giving householders a grandstand view of children in the classrooms and playground. Fearful of the sort of people such an arrangement might attract and anxious to safeguard pupils, the school is already talking in terms of erecting a high security fence. Do we really want to see children corralled in what will resemble a prison camp so that greedy landowners, developers and their agents can line their pockets? Child safety must come first. Gnomie
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Brownface60 says...

Gnomie wrote:
Lea's inhabitants are quite right to be appalled by the prospect of so many more houses. All these extra dwellings are bound to exacerbate the already-severe surface water flooding problems the village has to endure; problems that are made even worse by the regularity with which its decrepit sewers overflow during periods of heavy rainfall. Most of the proposals for development have severe drawbacks, but the worst is a plan to build 28 houses slap-bang-next-door to the village primary school potentially giving householders a grandstand view of children in the classrooms and playground. Fearful of the sort of people such an arrangement might attract and anxious to safeguard pupils, the school is already talking in terms of erecting a high security fence. Do we really want to see children corralled in what will resemble a prison camp so that greedy landowners, developers and their agents can line their pockets? Child safety must come first.
A little paranoid to say no houses should look towards a school playground? The logical conclusion of this argument is that the council should have a planning policy which shows areas around every school playground where there should be no houses at all - and the areas drawn should take account of the possibility that the playgrounds could be seen through binoculars. Why stop there - no-go areas around childrens' playgrounds? sweetshops? houses where children live? No footpaths or roads close to schools?
Those planning where to put new playgrounds actually want them where there is "natural surveillance" from houses and roads. It is positively dangerous to have playgrounds where no-one from outside can see what is going on.
It may well be that Lea is unsuitable for a large number of houses, but this argument against them is just silly.
[quote][p][bold]Gnomie[/bold] wrote: Lea's inhabitants are quite right to be appalled by the prospect of so many more houses. All these extra dwellings are bound to exacerbate the already-severe surface water flooding problems the village has to endure; problems that are made even worse by the regularity with which its decrepit sewers overflow during periods of heavy rainfall. Most of the proposals for development have severe drawbacks, but the worst is a plan to build 28 houses slap-bang-next-door to the village primary school potentially giving householders a grandstand view of children in the classrooms and playground. Fearful of the sort of people such an arrangement might attract and anxious to safeguard pupils, the school is already talking in terms of erecting a high security fence. Do we really want to see children corralled in what will resemble a prison camp so that greedy landowners, developers and their agents can line their pockets? Child safety must come first.[/p][/quote]A little paranoid to say no houses should look towards a school playground? The logical conclusion of this argument is that the council should have a planning policy which shows areas around every school playground where there should be no houses at all - and the areas drawn should take account of the possibility that the playgrounds could be seen through binoculars. Why stop there - no-go areas around childrens' playgrounds? sweetshops? houses where children live? No footpaths or roads close to schools? Those planning where to put new playgrounds actually want them where there is "natural surveillance" from houses and roads. It is positively dangerous to have playgrounds where no-one from outside can see what is going on. It may well be that Lea is unsuitable for a large number of houses, but this argument against them is just silly. Brownface60
  • Score: 2

9:12pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Gnomie says...

I do not claim to be an expert on child safeguarding or indeed on education. However when the head teacher of the primary school concerned along with the board of governors express such fears then I believe they should be listened to. The views of local parents who are equally unhappy should be listened to as well. To dismiss such concerns as 'silly' in a week when we have heard the appalling revelations of what has gone on in Rochdale is I would submit unwise to say the least.
I do not claim to be an expert on child safeguarding or indeed on education. However when the head teacher of the primary school concerned along with the board of governors express such fears then I believe they should be listened to. The views of local parents who are equally unhappy should be listened to as well. To dismiss such concerns as 'silly' in a week when we have heard the appalling revelations of what has gone on in Rochdale is I would submit unwise to say the least. Gnomie
  • Score: -1

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