HOMES have been approved in a north Herefordshire village despite residents saying the sewage system cannot cope.

Outline planning permission was granted for 39 homes on land opposite Orleton School in Kings Road, Orleton.

As part of the plans there will be a dedicated car park for the primary school, a nature area and allotments for the community.

But Herefordshire Council's planning committee heard that residents in the village did not want such a big development on the site.

Chairman of Orleton Parish Council Richard Jack told the committee that villagers living close the site frequently find raw sewage in their gardens because the local system cannot cope.

He said work was completed by Severn Trent Water eight years ago but it failed completely and they have failed to get a satisfactory response from the company.

But planning officer Andy Banks told the committee that Severn Trent has said there is capacity for the extra housing.

He said they could only refuse it on this basis if a lack of capacity resulted in significant effects on the River Wye Special Area of Conservation, which it doesn't.

Mr Banks said flooding causes the overflow and not the amount of homes.

The committee heard that part of the site falls within a flood zone 2 and 3, which is where the car park and allotments will be situated.

A flood alleviation scheme has also been proposed and the officer said there would be merits in developing a flood storage area at Orleton.

Reserved matters will be discussed at a later stage.

Outline planning permission was granted by the committee.