ORCOP Hill residents say ‘the council will be swapping a beautiful countryside view for a repository for human waste’ if a housing plan gets the go-ahead.

Dozens of villagers have railed against the proposals to build three houses on land at Newcastle Farm because of the proposed use of cesspits to store sewage on the site.

More than 40 people have signed a petition against the scheme and the parish council says the development is unsustainable and will harm the character, environment, drainage, and highway safety of the area.

Mick Murphy, an objector, said: “The council will be riding roughshod over the desires of local people if they approve these plans

“They will be going against their own core plan and their own experts’ advice.

“They would be swapping a beautiful countryside view for a repository for human waste.

“It’s an injustice against ordinary people.”

Michael Shaw, another resident, said he was appalled that the proposal had been produced by a professional body.

He said: “I have read and fully concur with the objections of the many residents of Orcop Hill.

“It is disconcerting that other agencies such as the environment and highways have not yet submitted strong objections to the hazards and disruption of somewhat Third World proposals.”

According to Herefordshire Council’s own sustainable drainage systems handbook the council does not permit cesspits for new developments.

But consultants working on behalf of the applicant said the layout of the proposed scheme had been carefully considered so as to respond positively to its context, and in particular the existing historic dwellings which ‘bookend’ the site at the west and south boundaries.

Paul Sloan, infrastructure engineer, said: “All foul effluent will be discharged via gravity-fed pipework to a sealed cesspit tank, one for each proposed dwelling.

“The cesspit tanks have been situated in locations that can be easily accessed in future by tankers when emptying.”

Herefordshire Council’s planning committee are expected to make a decision on the site on May 15.