A plan to build up to 89 houses on land between two parts of a Herefordshire village has been given the go-ahead.

Barratt Homes South Wales and David Wilson Homes had sought outline permission for the scheme off Hawthorn Rise, Peterchurch, which would include up to 29 affordable homes.

Backing the bid, planning officer Heather Carlisle told a Herefordshire Council planning committee meeting last week that the scheme would be “in the heart of the village, which offers an abundance of amenities”.

Peterchurch is identified in county planning policy as a candidate for “proportionate growth”, and the four-hectare site is allocated for housing within the village’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP), she pointed out.


The council has been told by Natural England that a full habitat regulations assessment (HRA) would not be required, despite the site’s nearness to the river Dore, nor had officers raised objections over drainage, sewage or traffic, she said.

But Welsh Water expressed concerns that its local wastewater treatment works “cannot accommodate the proposed development”, and called for the developer to fund a study to identify how the risk of overloading the works could be avoided.

The water company added that the village's water supply network “is nearing capacity and can only accommodate an additional 20 dwellings before reinforcement works would be required”.

Peterchurch Parish Council vice-chairman Johnny Scrimgeour said the water supply issue “is of great concern”, and questioned the decision not to require an HRA, a concern also expressed by ward councillor Jennie Hewitt.

Noting that the NDP earmarks an area of land beyond the development site for recreation use, Coun Scrimgeour added that the village “has been trying for over 60 years to obtain a suitable site for a full-sized football pitch”.

“An offer of land here was later withdrawn by the developer, when the parish council requested a slightly larger area for essential facilities - without which, obtaining grant funding would be nearly impossible,” he said.

Paul Smith, agent for the developer, said the village NDP “chose not to make provision of any part of this allocation a condition of this housing scheme, so there is no policy requirement (for it)”.

Coun Scrimgeour added that better pedestrian access to and from the site would improve access to the village’s amenities including the playground, avoiding the need for a new playground within the scheme. Any infrastructure contributions from the developer would be better spent upgrading the existing playground, he said.

The developer “remains open to discussion” on this, Mr Smith said. He added that the current proposal “is nearly identical to one approved five years ago, when policy was not as supportive as it is now”.

Councillors voted by 11 votes to four to authorise officers to grant outline permission, “subject to any other necessary conditions or amendments”, as per Ms Carlisle’s recommendation.

The scheme’s eventual layout, scale and landscape will still have to be approved in a future application.

The NDP says the village already has 508 households, meaning the figure of 89 new homes would be an increase of nearly 18 per cent.