COLLEGE leaders want to redevelop a popular campus near Hereford.

Herefordshire and Ludlow College has submitted plans to Herefordshire Council for a new enterprise centre, stables and agricultural stores at their Holme Lacy site.

The campus boasts a 257-hectare mixed organic farm and houses animal care, rural crafts and equestrian centres.

But architects say the historic stables are in much need of repair following years of severe decay.

“The wide extent of dilapidation has resulted in increased maintenance demands and is now critically affecting the safety, usability and perceived quality of the learning environment,” the design and access report reads.

“The college have decided to use the opportunity for refurbishment to deliver wider benefit by locating a new enterprise centre in the old stables.

“This will provide recent graduate students with affordable workshop space for their start-up businesses, housed in an historic and sensitively restored agricultural building.”

They say the plan is to build a new stable building and manège to rehouse the college’s core equestrian activities in fit-for-purpose accommodation.

Nearby agricultural stores would also be built to modern standards.

The scheme includes landscaping which would lead to a safer one-way traffic system, improve the pedestrian environment and create more student recreation space as well as enhancing biodiversity.

Applicant Russ Bevan, head of ICT and estates at the college, said the plan would create small starter units to accommodate around 10 people who have completed blacksmith, crafts or agricultural engineering courses.

“It will help them start up their own business and they will have the support of our tutors,” he said.

“The other part of the plans include lovely new stables for our equine students.

“It has taken a while to come together but we are excited with these plans.”

Residents have until September 6 to comment on the proposals which county council planners are expected to consider by November 4.