A bid to keep alive a plan for up to nine self-build houses beside former Herefordshire hunting kennels has failed.

On a field off Tump Lane, Wormelow, by the kennels of the former South Herefordshire Hunt, these would have “provided a route into home ownership for individuals and groups”, the original application said.

Charles O’Connor had sought what is called “permission in principle” for his proposal in February last year, avoiding the need for regular planning permission.

But this was rejected by Herefordshire Council planners on the grounds that it lay outside the settlement boundary of Wormelow, and didn’t fit with the linear settlement pattern of its neighbours.

There was also nothing to compensate for the likely additional waste water pollution entering the protected river Wye catchment, the council said.


In appealing the decision, Mr O’Connor said his proposed package treatment plant for foul water would mitigate any impact on the river.

This would “ensure any wastewater is treated so it is clean enough to go into a river or stream”, according to his statement to planning inspector SD Castle.

But the inspector has now said they had seen “no evidence that a package treatment plant would be a viable method to safely dispose of foul water on the site”.

They concluded: “I cannot be satisfied, beyond reasonable scientific doubt, that the development would not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the RWSAC (river Wye special area of conservation).”

The kennels, to the south of the planned building site, were the scene of an animal cruelty case in 2018 that led to the disbanding of the South Herefordshire Hunt.