HEREFORDSHIRE planners have rejected proposals for a new access to homes being built in a village near Ross-on-Wye over its impact on an ancient hedgerow.

Hampton Kirk Developments wanted a new access to be shared between the two homes being built on Turners Lane in Brampton Abbotts and leave the current access for a separate four-house development — the approved plans allow for the six properties to share one access.

But 36 people objected to Herefordshire Council over the impact on wildlife, the removal of hedgerow and road safety concerns.

Parish councillor David Teague told the planning committee last week that not a single resident supported the plans.

“Why is the applicant now seeking planning permission at this very late stage to separate the accesses for the two sites?

“It can only be assumed the applicant is looking to improve its commercial position. The applicant’s email to the case officer in July 2019 may give a clue to this. In it, there is reference to the single access to the two separate sites accelerating an uplift payment owed by the applicant to the seller of the land where the four houses are being built and looking for a way to delay it.”

Supporter Paul Smith said the impact would be limited.

“The new access would avoid cars crossing a public footpath which is a benefit as recognised by the Ramblers Association. The proposal would have at worst a neutral net effect on sight and surroundings.”

But Coun Barry Durkin said the hedge, which is in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, must be protected.

“The land was bought with an uplift clause and once the work has commenced then that becomes due. The work on the two houses does in fact raise the uplift for this four house scheme.”

Coun Terry James asked: “Do we design our planning on the basis of what private uplift clauses exist between the developer and the land owner? It’s vandalism as far as the hedges are concerned.”

The committee rejected the plans by 11 votes to two.