A bid to create a 70-home estate at a Herefordshire village has been refused, for a slew of reasons.

The Whitfield Estate and local developer Bell Homes submitted the plan for land in Wormbridge in 2019. It would have also meant expanding the business centre within the 6.3-hectare site, which straddles the A465 Hereford-Abergavenny road.

The homes would have a been a mix of styles, formats and tenures, with 12 being available for affordable sale and a further 12 for rent at reduced rates.

The existing listed farmhouse on the opposite side of the road to the housing would have been converted to incorporate a café and bed-and-breakfast, while an existing day nursery would move to a new premises across the road.


But Herefordshire Council this week issued a list of reasons why the proposal could not go ahead.

The estate would be “isolated from amenities and services”, it “failed to adequately cater for needs of the elderly population”, or to provide “well-integrated public open space”, and would “unacceptably intrude into open countryside”.

Despite the use of acoustic barrier fencing, traffic noise from the A465 would make living conditions “unacceptable”, nor did the design “deliver appropriate highway safety”.

The risk of flooding had not been dealt with, the new childcare centre would have been across the busy road from the proposed housing, and the new employment space would have been “on greenfield land in a rural car-dependent location”.

Lastly, the share of affordable housing was below the 40 per cent required by county policy, while there was no agreement to provide or fund wider infrastructure improvements.