CONCERNS were raised by village residents that a new housing development of five homes would ruin the view of a Grade I listed church.

A planning application for five homes to the south of the village hall in Aymestrey was approved by Herefordshire Council's Planning Committee.

But the parish council and residents objected to the plan as they said it would ruin the setting of the Church of St John the Baptist and St Alkmund when looking at the village from the south.

Chairman of Aymestrey Parish Council, Ian Goddard, said: "If this planning application is granted then that setting is lost forever from the south."

Historic England said they consider that the development changes the way in which the church is experienced in its wider setting and that less than substantial harm is caused.

Ward councillor for the area, Carole Gandy, said "iconic vistas need protection" and said she was concerned that there were various different measurements for ridge and ground levels.

She said: "Three interested parties have taken measurements of the levels and all come to different conclusions."

Cllr Gandy said these should be confirmed before further progress is made.

She also raised concerns about a police report on the A4110 which showed that speeds through the 30mph speed limit were reaching in excess of 56mph.

She said that plans were being put together to introduce traffic calming measures, including a village gateway.

Cllr Phil Edwards proposed that planning officers, the ward councillor and the parish council determine the actual height of the building, the moving of the hedgerow, whether the road will be widened and the best place to position the parish gates. The application was approved on the grounds that this takes place.

Cllr Dave Greenhow said: "If the church of St John was a person I would feel very sorry for it. I feel it is being used as a pawn in this. I don't believe that five properties on that land is going to detract from the church."

The five dwellings will consist of two three bed and three four bed properties.