Two Herefordshire homes badly damaged by fire can now be knocked down and rebuilt to look just as before.

The two semi-detached three-bedroom properties on Court Orchard, Fownhope, particularly their first floors, were largely destroyed in the blaze, believed to have been last December.

A planning application by owner Connexus Housing, which took over the county council’s housing stock in 2001, proposed that in light of advice from a structural engineer, the two should be completely demolished and rebuilt on a like-for-like basis.

It described the two-storey mansard-roofed building as “typical of the 1930s / 1940s suburban developments that occupy many streets in and around Fownhope”.


But the rebuilt houses will be more heat-efficient thanks to better insulation, and will have cycle and bin storage, the application says.

A condition of the approval, which was granted this week, is that water conservation and efficiency measures must also be demonstrated.

Fownhope parish council said the rebuild “could be an opportunity to extend the housing stock to accommodate the need for smaller properties in the parish”, and urged Connexus to consider rebuilding one of the houses as two single-bedroomed homes.

But the approved plans show the two with symmetrical internal layouts largely the same as before.