Councillors have rejected their own officials’ advice and refused permission for a development six larger houses in a Herefordshire village.

The plan, for the village of Longtown near the Welsh border, was for one five-bedroom house, four with four bedrooms and one with three - a reduction from the ten houses originally envisaged.

Although the site was earmarked for development in the village’s neighbourhood development plan, the parish council said this foresaw “affordable housing, not larger, more expensive housing”.

“Single-storey dwellings are needed for elderly residents to downsize,” it added.

Nor did the “urban” style of the buildings suit the village, with its early Norman castle, parish councillors said.


Welsh Water also objected, calling it “premature” given the area has “water supply problems for which no improvements are planned”.

A further 40 objections were submitted from individuals.

However the council’s planning officer, recommending approval, thought the design “would respect the character of this sensitive village location and would not have a detrimental impact on amenity, its surroundings and landscape setting”.

But urging colleagues to reject the plan “in its current form”, local ward councillor Peter Jinman called it “a speculative development, not in keeping” and that the proposed arrangements for dealing with sewage from the houses were “not fit for purpose”.

The application was duly refused.