COUNTY planners have rejected a scheme to redevelop an ‘eyesore’ block of derelict flats in Ross-on-Wye.

Denver Rollings submitted plans to Herefordshire Council convert and extend the existing Riverview Flats in Wye Street to form six two-bed apartments with new end staircores and an extra storey above.

Council officers recommended rejecting the scheme as its harm to the conservation area and nearby historic buildings outweighed any benefits.

But Ross West councillor Louis Stark called on the planning and regulatory committee to approve the scheme.

He said that part of Wye Street was rundown and something needed to be done to improve the character of the area.

“It is a disgrace,” he said.

“You have an opportunity today to try and do something about it.

“You have an opportunity to at least remove one of the eyesores.

“I do feel if we reject this particular application today that there won’t be another one.

“I would have preferred for the existing flats to be refurbished. In fact, I would have preferred if they hadn’t been built in the first place.

“This has been a problem for me for my whole time as a town councillor.”


However, councillors felt a better design which was more in keeping with the conservation area was needed.

Councillor Sebastian Bowen proposed rejecting the scheme and this was seconded by councillor Elissa Swinglehurst.

“I’m glad to see the planning department and officers are taking such care of the design of these buildings,” he said.

“We do have a duty to get the very best designs and I think on this one we could say could do better, and should do better.

“We can work towards getting a much better one which would be more suitable to the area and more interesting architecturally.”

Councillor Alan Seldon said the committee was at danger of saying something was better than nothing if they approved the scheme.

“This needs very careful consideration about what happens to it,” he said.

“We are in danger of saying something is better than nothing with this.

“We need to do better with this one.”

The planning committee rejected the scheme by 11 votes to three with one abstention.