A plan to build up to 37 houses by a Herefordshire village has finally been thrown out.

The estate would have been built on a 2.7-hectare greenfield site west of Colwall, within the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and accessed from Mill Lane.

An application for outline permission was rejected by Herefordshire Council’s planning committee in October 2020, with the committee highlighting the scheme’s likely impact on village and the wider AONB.

The developer, Kendrick Homes of Stourbridge, then appealed the decision. But planning inspector Mazer Aqbal has now sided with the council in dismissing the appeal.

Mr Aqbal concluded it did not meet any of the “exception tests” for development in an AONB set out in national planning policy.

This says that “great weight should be given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty” of such areas.

The proposed estate “would have a substantial erosive effect on the landscape character of the site and the settlement pattern”, it would bring “additional activity, noise and lighting”, and “introduce a suburban appearance of upper floors and roofs”, and would affect views from the Malvern Hills, Mr Aqbal said.


The inspector said his conclusions were supported by the Colwall Neighbourhood Development Plan, which came into effect last June, and by the Malvern Hills AONB management plan.

However he rejected a bid by Herefordshire Council for an award of costs arising from the appeal, saying Kendrick Homes had not “behaved unreasonably”, nor had it caused the council to “incur unnecessary or wasted expense”.

The original proposal divided locals, with 28 registering objections to it, along with the parish council, while 70 were supportive.