A “very contentious” bid to build two houses in a field beside a Herefordshire hamlet has finally been rejected by a government-appointed inspector.

The proposed two-storey homes, by the 12th-century Church of St Mary the Virgin, King’s Pyon “would adversely affect highway safety” due to the narrowness of the unadopted road required to access them, planning inspector Bhupinder Thandi concluded.

He also judged that the submitted plans for dealing with foul and surface water “would not ensure satisfactory drainage of the site or prevent the increased risk of flooding”.

The initial application was made by local resident Colin Pudge in June 2020, and refused in June 2021, after drawing 36 objections.


Mr Thandi did not go on to consider the plan’s impact on the river Wye special area of conservation or its location outside to the proposed settlement boundary – two of the original reasons why the permission was originally refused – as his stated reasons were enough to dismiss the appeal.

Pyons group parish council had said the proposed access to the houses from the main road, which narrows to 2.4 metres “is too narrow to support the additional traffic generated and has no places where traffic can pass”.

It added: “Widening the access lane is not an option as there are private properties along one side and the other side is the wall with the adjacent grade I-listed church.

“The ownership of the lane and rights of access are understood to be disputed by local residents.”

The parish council told the planning appeal that it was “a very contentious application, with local residents regularly attending parish meeting to complain”.