A Herefordshire parish council will put together a petition urging official action against a prominent but derelict village “eyesore”.

Whitbourne Parish Council last night (Wednesday, July 13) agreed to the proposed petition, asking Herefordshire Council to address the condition of the Wheatsheaf Inn, which stands abandoned at the edge of the village on the main A44 Leominster-Worcester Road.

“People in the village are getting a bit tired of it,” Councillor Jackie Bromley said.

She pointed out that the parish council gave its qualified support to an unsuccessful bid in 2019 by Peter Styles of Worcester-based Fatydam 2 Ltd to convert the pub to housing.

The was refused on the grounds that not enough effort had been put into selling it as a pub, or for “alternative community uses”, as well as concerns over future residents’ dependency on cars, access onto the road, and the potential impact on roosting bats.

A subsequent appeal by Mr Styles against the refusal was later dismissed for the same reasons.


Coun Peter Wood said: “We’ve had 14 representations about what an eyesore it is. It’s the first building you see when you come into the county.

“A petition from the parish council to Herefordshire Council would help officers understand the strength of feeling in and around the village.”

He hoped the county council would then compel the owner to carry out works to address the building’s “chronic disrepair” under what is known as a Section 215 notice.

Failure to comply with such a notice can lead to prosecution.

Herefordshire Council’s website says it “welcomes” petitions from 15 or more people in the county, as “a valuable facility to enable issues affecting local communities to be highlighted”.