A “massive” new building in the Herefordshire countryside may have to be demolished following a planning ruling against it.

Nick Higham of Lower Eggleton near Ledbury applied last September for retrospective permission for an 8-metre-high, 24-metre-long shed, used to house a ground source heat pump system, with solar panels mounted on its roof.

The building was also intended for use with Mr Higham’s renewable energy business, his application said, adding that the project brought environmental benefits “in the form of wildlife corridors and a traditional orchard”.

But Yarkhill Parish Council said there were “many disconcerting aspects” about the project, not least that the “massive building” had been built on farmland without prior planning consultation or approval.


Though the application drew 13 letters of support locally, compared with four against, Herefordshire Council refused retrospective permission last December.

Mr Higham appealed, but has now had this dismissed by Government-appointed planning inspector SD Castle.

“By virtue of its bulk, height, modern utilitarian design and relative isolation, the building stands out as a prominent and discordant element in the otherwise attractive and rolling, rural landscape,” against which the accompanying landscaping and habitat measures “would provide only limited mitigation”, the inspector concluded.

And being outside designated employment land, the project “would not encourage investment” in such areas; nor was their “indication that the development would result in a significant increase in rural employment”, they ruled.

Asked where this left his building, Mr Higham said: “I’m not sure at present. It may have to come down, or maybe revised in some way.”