A plan to build two three-bedroom bungalows at a Herefordshire village has been refused.

The application by local residents Mr and Mrs Hayday and Mr J Fildes was for a paddock down what is currently an access track and public footpath off the main road through Luston, north of Leominster.

With steep pitched roofs, the designs for the two houses “adopted strong traditional elements, befitting a rural area”, and would “dovetail nicely” into the village’s settlement pattern, the application said.

They “would cater for the needs of two local families who wish to downsize and remain in Luston”, it explained.

Each would have had three parking spaces, while sewage would have been treated in an on-site package treatment plant.


The proposal drew five submissions of support locally, and two objections. Luston group parish council also objected due to the site being just outside the village’s settlement boundary.

The plan included wider splays where the access road would meet the main B4361 through the village. But Herefordshire Council’s highways engineer said that even with these, visibility at the main road “is substandard, and therefore the impact of the development is unacceptable in highways terms”.

The council’s tree officer also raised concerns over the access road’s impact on neighbouring trees, and pointed out that a requested tree report had not been submitted.

Herefordshire Ramblers Association said it did not object provided the public footpath across the site was retained.

Pre-application advice from the council was “optimistic and hopeful”, the application said.

But the account of the pre-application discussion in the officer’s report quotes senior planning officer Adam Lewis as saying: “I would not encourage a proposal for new residential development on this site to be pursued any further as it is unlikely to be supported.”

This was due to being outside the village boundary and therefore against county planning policy, and the ongoing issue of phosphate pollution in the River Lugg, he said.

The council’s development manager Andrew Banks accepted these points as justifying refusal of the scheme.