LOCAL are getting increasingly frustrated with a derelict, roofless cottage blighting their idyllic Herefordshire village.

Residents in Bircher, near Leominster, say they are affronted daily by the derelict, roofless and deteriorating state of Knoll Cottage.

The cottage has been falling into disrepair for at least 25 years yet has been advertised for sale at £399,000.

The grade-II listed building was formerly an attractive thatched double dwelling.


Herefordshire Council's building control team was alerted to the imminent collapse of the frontage several years ago and emergency propping up and removal of the decayed thatch were undertaken.

But now English Heritage has the building listed as "at risk" after the current owner has not progressed repairs and the building has been left in a precarious condition with winter weather liable to contribute to its collapse, locals say.

Want to get the latest breaking news alerts sent straight to you? It's easy, just sign up for our breaking news email alerts here and the most important stories will be delivered straight to your inbox.

The group said villagers are constantly asked about the derelict building by visitors to the popular Home Farm Caravan Site opposite but they have no good news to report and the eyesore is an "embarrassment" in a county which promotes its attractive black and white buildings to tourists.

Yarpole Group Parish Council is aware of the problem as well as county councillor Sebastian Bowen.


Herefordshire Council is thought to be serving an emergency repairs notice, part-funded by English Heritage, and works to secure the structure are planned.

When asked by locals, Herefordshire Council said it was not in a position to provide an update as the matter involved enforcement and legal teams.

It is understood that Herefordshire Council is in talks with the owner.

A spokesperson for the group of locals said: "Residents feel that Herefordshire Council has proved unable to effectively act to protect this listed building and ask why the legal process of compulsory purchase has not been enacted."