An application for retrospective planning permission regarding the increase in size of a 'lambing shed' on land known as Probert's Farm at Craswall and the addition of a wood burning stove to the structure has been received by Herefordshire Council. I am at a loss to understand how planning could ever have been signed off in the first instance in an area of such outstanding natural beauty which is appreciated as such by local residents as well as the thousands of tourists and walkers who flock to the area each year.The design is clearly visible, does not blend in with the natural landscape, does not resemble an agricultural building and has been increased in size - deliberately flouting the conditions of the original application and subsequent approval.

It is very difficult not to conclude that the structure is intended at some point to become a modern residential property or holiday let which would explain its towering position, taking advantage of the stunning views across the valley along with its double storey height and the addition of huge windows to take in the vista. I have sheep myself and look directly across to the mountains.  The idea that you would put a wood-burning stove in a lambing shed which will be full of straw, hay and animal bedding just isn't credible. Even if it was in a self-contained area it would surely be a fire risk, surrounded by flammable materials. Besides, there are plenty of ways to heat new born lambs without installing a wood burner. Why are huge windows and a double storey necessary if it is to be used purely for the purpose of lambing for a few weeks every year? I hope the council thinks long and hard before granting retrospective planning permission for this eyesore of a structure. The Black Hill is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, is a site of special scientific interest and surely one of the jewels in Herefordshire’s crown. We depend on the council to protect its status.

I would appeal to readers to register their objections and comments in regards to the planning application by the deadline of Tuesday, December 18,

which they can do by visiting the planning applications page on the Herefordshire Council’s website - reference: P183609/F.

Liz Morris