A new 60-room nursing home can be built in a Herefordshire village.

Part of the former Malvern Water bottling plant site in Colwall has lain vacant since it was closed by parent company Coca-Cola in 2010, though some of the land has since been developed for housing.

Now revised plans for a 60-bedroom care home, submitted by Leicestershire-based care group Rotherwood, has been given planning approval.

The company says the new home would employ 30 full-time and six part-time staff when complete.


Colwall Parish Council said it “strongly objected” to the home, which, being larger then a previously approved care home for the site, “would out of keeping with the village setting”.

The parish council said it would have preferred more housing for the site, in accordance with its neighbourhood development plan. The fact that this had not been taken into account was “totally unacceptable”, it said.

If the home were to be approved, the council asked that roof-mounted solar panels be required in accordance with local planning policy.

A Malvern Hills area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) representative also considered the main block in the original design would be “very large and, despite design details which help to break up the front façade, would be an overdevelopment of the site”.

The developer appears to have taken the comments on board, as the most recent design revision – one of several – shows a reduced three-storey section of the building, the third storey no longer including residential accommodation, and solar panels on the roof.

The changes “will not only reduce the massing, but also improve the relationship to the existing adjacent building” according to the developer’s architects, Lawrence & Finley of Ashby‐de‐la‐Zouch.

Herefordshire Council planning officer Adam Lewis said the home “would deliver benefits through providing specialist care accommodation for which there is a recognised local need”, while the jobs created would “support the wellbeing and vitality of the community”.

He attached “significant weight” to the fact that it would redevelop a brownfield site.

The approval requires the developer to prepare and implement tree protection and biodiversity enhancement plans for the site.

The developer also has to prepare a travel plan “to promote alternative sustainable means of transport for staff and visitors”, and to provide cycle storage and vehicle charging points.

Rotherwood already operates the Hampton Grange and Gwen Walford care homes in Hereford, and the Lynhales Hall and Kington Court homes in Kington, as well as homes in Shropshire and Worcestershire.