COUNTY councillors have given the go-ahead to build a three-bed bungalow in the open countryside near Bromyard.

Mrs R Hooper and Mr M Hooper asked Herefordshire Council for permission to build the agricultural worker's home on land at Acton Mill Farm, The Barrow, Suckley.

The holding provides education and care for a wide group of people from schools, care homes and referrals from doctors who need extra non-medical intervention and support.

The proposals are for the home to be occupied by by the applicant who is the the care farm manager.

The family said they needed better accommodation to raise their son who has a life-threatening illness.

Officers said the applicant currently lives in The Watermill which is a the three-storey grade II listed building which is around 80 meters to the south-east of site.

And they said that a new agricultural worker’s home on the site in the open countryside would be without justification and recommended refusing the scheme.


But councillor Terry James said there were exceptional personal circumstances that justified approving the plans.

He proposed that the planning and regulatory committee should approve the scheme and this was seconded by councillor Paul Rone.

“You would have great difficulty in finding more exceptional circumstances than these,” coun James said.

“If it were a massive poultry unit, we would be granting planning permission to one or two bungalows for agricultural workers.

“We need to be aware of the social and humanitarian benefit this enterprise has for the community as a whole.

“I do hope, and I will move that the planning permission be granted under exceptional circumstances.”

Lead development manager Kevin Bishop advised the committee against granting permission.

“I must remind committee members that this is a planning committee, not a social care committee,” he said.

“You are looking at a straightforward agricultural bungalow application where they have already got another property on the site and permission for another one as well.

“There’s no justification for any agricultural tie on it. There is no justification for the removal of any permitted development rights.

“I’m sorry I have to be hard on this. But those are the hard facts of it. You are looking at granting permission for a dwelling in the open countryside.”

The committee approved the scheme by 12 votes for and two against.