FIVE new houses and an apartment block on the outskirts of a Herefordshire town would ruin children's privacy, critics of the scheme have said.

Nigel Davis, who owns Top Garage on the A465 Hereford road in Bromyard with Richard Mason, has applied for planning to knock the buildings down and put houses and apartments in their place.

If approved by planners, five houses and 15 apartments would be built on the site – with a total of 44 bedrooms and 35 car parking spaces.

But local residents have hit out at the plans, saying children's privacy could be an issue with the site overlooking the HOPE Family Centre next door.

Zoe Cousins, of Much Cowarne, said in her objection to Herefordshire Council that the apartments would be "far too close" to the centre.

"The design of the building means that a large majority of the apartments look directly into the playing areas of young children who attend, including via the balcony walkway.

"This is a massive loss of privacy to the children and families who attend this hub of the community.

"I am hugely concerned that should the wrong type of person be house in one of these apartments, they are able to a view a supposedly safe space full of small children at their leisure."


Cliff Morris said as plans had been amended, it showed "poor forward planning".

In his objection, he said parking arrangements for the "overcrowded" site were not suitable, and there should be room for larger delivery vehicles to turn so they would not have to reverse onto the main road.

He was also concerned about the HOPE Family Centre being overlooked.

Summing up, he urged planners to turn down the plans as the site was "unsuitable" for residential use. He said it should be retained as employment land and redeveloped in a manner that was suitable to the area.

Consultation has now ended, with Herefordshire Council planners now able to consider the scheme.

Consultants working on the scheme said they did not believe the development would be too dense, and it would provide much-needed new homes in a “strategic location” on the edge of the town.

They said the intention was to build a “landmark development” with “distinctive” architecture, which would see the buildings made from a combination of lias stone, clay pantile shingles and matt metal sheeting, forming a new gateway into Bromyard.


They said existing apartments within the town “tend to be of low quality, with poor amenity facilities”, and a brownfield site scheme would plug that gap.

Top Garage had been on the market for around five years, the design and access statement submitted to the council said, but potential buyers failed to see the £900,000 business as viable.

It said the fuel and retail side of the business was no longer viable due to the ongoing revamp of the Texaco garage on the A44 Bromyard bypass, but vehicle servicing could be moved elsewhere.

The garage said it would continue to trade until further notice.

The land is now for sale with Hollywell Homes, a company based in Worcester.

It said that it would give price on application, but said the site presents a "great opportunity as a logical extension to the town" and was intended to provide a "development of distinction, acting as the new southern gateway" to Bromyard.