PEOPLE living on the proposed routes of Hereford’s new bypass were not given notice that their houses could be demolished.

Many of the residents living on Kings Acre Road only discovered their homes were in the firing line of the western bypass when they saw reports in the Hereford Times or were told by neighbours.

Herefordshire Council has now apologised to those who did not receive a letter informing them of the bypass consultation.

Ben Poulter’s family home is earmarked for demolition on the yellow route. His mother, Kim, found out through a neighbour.

He said: “We weren’t actually informed. I got a phone call from my mum and she was absolutely beside herself.

“I asked what on earth was going on and she said, ‘They are going to compulsory purchase our family home and bulldoze it for a bypass’.”

The council has shortlisted seven routes and currently says the maximum number of homes that will need to be demolished will be five. However, highway chiefs admit this number could rise.

Claire Bateman, who lives close to the yellow route in Kings Acre Road, said: “Some people still don’t know now. I went to see a friend who works in a beauty salon. She just had a customer who didn’t know anything about it and her house was marked to be demolished.”

Only a handful of residents received the first letter, dated January 9, informing them of the current consultation.

Paula Andrews, who lives next to the yellow route, said: “None of us have had letters. We all had to find out from each other.”

She believes another letter was meant to have been sent out a year ago at the start of the first phase of the Hereford transport package consultation, but she said nobody received this.

Debbie Griffiths, who lives next to the yellow route, said residents feel in limbo as the houses which are earmarked to be demolished could change.

She said that the 2010 bypass plans were much further out of the city and nobody in the street expected the road to be within the city limits.

“We are still part of Hereford city and they are cutting the bypass straight through us.”

Mrs Andrews, meanwhile, claims to have made Freedom of Information requests to look at the traffic surveys, but said these have not been forthcoming.

She also questioned how Balfour Beatty could carry out the consultation when it cannot even send out letters to the right people.

Mrs Andrews said more work should be done on improving accessible cycle lanes and investing in better public transport.

She said this would be more effective in improving congestion in the city as many of the car journeys are short trips within Hereford.

A council spokesman said: “Herefordshire Council would like to apologise to any residents who did not receive the first planned letter to advise of the cabinet meeting to consider the bypass consultation.”

The letter was informing all landowners within the corridor of the cabinet meeting in January.

The spokesman added: “Not all of these letters were sent, as a result of an administrative error in the mailing process, for which both we and Balfour Beatty are very sorry – it was not acceptable for residents to find out through the press or social media.

“Once this error was identified a second letter was sent to all landowners and residents in advance of the start of the public consultation this week. This provided information regarding the consultation process and an invitation to a preview of the exhibition to discuss the potential impact of the options on their property.”

The consultation exhibition begins at Hereford library tomorrow (Friday) and remains there until March 20.

It is also available to view online at