A plan to turn a Herefordshire garage into five houses and 15 flats has been thrown out.

The Top Garage, at the junction of Hereford Road (the A465) and Panniers Lane, beyond the official southern boundary of Bromyard, is currently a petrol station and vehicle servicing station.

With distinctive pantile shingles cladding the upper two floors, the “visually striking” planned scheme was intended to attract a wide range of buyers, “including first-time buyers, professionals and empty-nesters”, the application said.

The scheme would have consisted of an L-shaped block next to the existing HOPE Centre, which provides a range of services for adults and children.

Three detached and one semi-detached houses would have stood to the south of this, facing east onto Hereford Road.

It would have meant replacing the “unsightly” garage building with “something more fitting as the southern gateway to the town”, the application said.


The garage business, which employs seven full-time staff, would then be moved “to a more suitable and accessible site” elsewhere in the town, to better compete with the recently modernised Texaco garage on the main A44 through the town, the application said.

However the refusal notice said the proposal came up short on six different points:

  • It would add to the phosphate pollution entering the river Lugg SAC (special area of conservation) – a legal obstacle currently blocking many developments in the area;
  • It would be “unjustified unsustainable residential development in the countryside outside of any settlement boundary”;
  • It failed to integrate with the highway network, or to accommodate walking and cycling to and from the town;
  • The housing mix would not help meet local housing need;
  • It failed to contribute to local infrastructure or to deliver affordable housing;
  • It would have an “unacceptable adverse impact” on its neighbours, including vulnerable groups.

Nine letters of objection were submitted, though the town council supported the scheme.

The HOPE Centre however said it was “extremely worried about the negative impact the application will have upon our ability to sustain services in their current format”.

It also feared being served with noise nuisance notifications from future residents of the adjacent block.