The river Lugg, where a riverbank has been intentionally destroyed, is currently at the centre of major pollution concerns.

The issue has forced Herefordshire Council to put planning applications on hold across a large part of the county.

Phosphate levels in the  Lugg catchment area are so high that the council has put new developments on hold until it finds a way forward.

The phosphate comes from fertilisers that are applied to agricultural land.


The Lugg catchment area in Herefordshire spreads from the Welsh border near Kington as far east as Bromyard, and from the northern outskirts of Hereford to almost as far north as Orleton.

Several years ago, the council launched a nutrient management plan to minimise the amount of pollution in the county’s rivers.

But Natural England now says it isn’t doing enough to address the problem.

Arrow ward councillor Roger Phillips told a council meeting last year that his area was affected.

“We have now had Natural England make a decision on phosphate levels in the river Lugg catchment area,” he said.

“This has resulted in all planning applications in my ward being halted and none until the foreseeable future until this is resolved actually being granted.

Herefordshire Council is expected to receive some £2.2m from central government in connection to the so-called 'new homes bonus', which is a grant paid to reflect and incentivise the construction of houses. A meeting earlier this year was told it may use this funding to develop measures to address the phosphate issue.

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