Plans for two new large houses in a scenic part of Herefordshire have been refused.

The bid by GN Developments of Coleford, Gloucestershire, was for the grounds of the Wye Vale property, Symonds Yat, which has “far reaching” views of the Wye valley.

The plan was to replace a previously granted permission for a house and detached garage on the site, along with road access, with two close-set but separate four-bedroom houses.

Sedum “green” roofs would be employed on both the homes and their integral garages, “allowing them to blend into the landscape when viewed from above”, while upper-storey walls would be timber-clad.

The proposal would have “increased the self sustainability” by installing air source heat pumps and solar panels, while maintaining the same number of buildings as the approved scheme, within the newly defined settlement boundary of Symonds Yat.


The plan drew 24 individual objections, while Whitchurch and Ganarew Group Parish Council said the two close together would not be in keeping with the village’s “relatively low-density cluster of dwellings”.

It was also concerned about “the very steep access” to the proposed properties, and about the impact of the extra traffic “on such a narrow and already overcrowded lane”.

Welsh Water said the increased water demand from the properties “will exacerbate the situation and adversely affect our service to our existing customers”, and therefore considered the proposal “premature”.

Herefordshire Council concluded the plan was “not sympathetic to the local character”, “represented an unacceptable overdevelopment” and “failed to conserve or enhance the landscape of the Wye Valley area of outstanding beauty”.

The proposal lacked an up-to-date ecological assessment and bat survey for its sensitive location, the council said, and also cited Welsh Water’s objection among its reasons for refusing the plan.