Plans have been put forward to knock down a Hereford house and replace it with a shop and six flats.

The neighbouring Royal National College for the Blind (RNCB) and developer Venns Lane Ltd have submitted the bid for the site on Venns Lane at the junction with Campbell Road to the north of the city.

It is currently occupied by a 1960s-era house, described in the application as “of no architectural or historic merit”, within the college grounds.

The RNCB was previously housed in the Grade II listed Victorian building on the other side of Venns Lane, now used by Hereford College of Arts. But there “is no meaningful inter-visibility” between this and the proposed development, the application says.


The new building would be of red brick with sections of grey render, and a flat roof to reduce its visual impact. Each of the six first-floor flats would have two bedrooms, and would be naturally lit.

There would be eight car parking spaces by the convenience store, along with extra parking along a strip between Venn’s Lane and the existing flats to the north.

“Retaining a number of the existing trees bordering the site will maintain the privacy of the nearby residential properties and act as a noise buffer between the development and Venns Lane,” the application said.

A blanket tree preservation order (TPO) covers the site, but an arboricultural report makes the case for removing several of the trees.

It proposes keeping a “fine” large lime (linden) tree beside Venns Lane, but says other trees and shrubs are “scrappy, overgrown and in some cases likely self-seeded with remnant of an over-mature, once residential garden”.

The college was reported in 2019 to be in financial difficulties, and has put in place a business recovery plan. It was rated “good” in its latest Ofsted report earlier this year.