A plan to build 25 houses by a Herefordshire village has been refused, partly over the status of a footpath.

Planning applicant Gary Gittings’ scheme would have occupied 2.2 hectares of farmland north of Ewyas Harold, just outside the village’s boundary set out in its neighbourhood development plan (NDP).

The NDP requires that such developments “be easily integrated into the wider village and rural environment”. Herefordshire Council planning officer Heather Carlisle judged that the plan did not meet this requirement, nor other criteria in the county-wide development plan.


A previous bid last year to develop the site was withdrawn due to the apparent difficulty in walking between the development and the village, a concern raised at the time by the village parish council.

“These issues have now been overcome by virtue of a direct pedestrian access into the adjoining Oakbrook Close, and thereby connecting this site to the remainder of the village,” according to Mr Gittings' revised application, lodged in June.

But the council’s engineer Jill Tookey-Williams said the proposed footpath connection was the responsibility of a housing association, on which notice has been served, but from whom no comment had been received.

“The lack of confirmation/agreement from the housing association prevents this option being deliverable at this time,” she wrote.

“Without a footway which connects to the site to the village in a safe way, this application therefore reverts back to previous comments regarding sustainability of the site.”

Several of the 10 objections lodged by residents also raised concerns about the transport implications of the plan.

Ms Carlisle concluded that the resulting “poor pedestrian connectivity to local services” meant the site access did not offer “access by a genuine choice of modes of travel”.

She also listed issues of surface water drainage, landscape character, and the lack of a so-called Section 106 agreement offering wider infrastructure improvements or funding for these, as reasons for refusing the bid.