A bid to put up two holiday lodges in the Herefordshire countryside has been approved despite locals’ concerns over the narrow road access.

Julian Lloyd applied to install the bespoke two-bedroom structures on a paddock between the villages of Ewyas Harold and Rowlestone.

Consisting of timber frames clad with timber boarding and corrugated metal pitched roofs, they would be prefabricated off-site.

Half a hectare of new woodland would be planted around them, to “mitigate the visual impact and achieve a carbon neutral development”, Mr Lloyd’s application said, adding that his fallback option would be to use the site as a five-pitch touring caravan and motorhome park.


The council’s buildings conservation officer objected that the lodges would “fail to preserve the setting” of the adjacent 17th century, grade II-listed Hill Farm cottage, which he said benefitted from “a strong sense of separation and tranquillity”.

Seven objections from nearby residents focused on anticipated access problems along the minor road known variously as Rabbit Lane and the Hill Road.

Hill Farm owner Peter Thwaites said he had “grave concerns” about the plan’s impact on this “really narrow road with no passing places” – part of which, between the lodge site and Ewyas Harold, “is now completely overgrown and impassable to any traffic”.


He claimed the lodges would put the existing 400-yard road access from the south “under significantly greater strain”, and that the council had already found the road was not suitable for their refuse vehicles.

And while Hill Farm cottage is already used for holiday accommodation, guests “can self-regulate to ensure they don't meet head-on”, with guests across several properties, “it would not be possible to coordinate traffic movements”, leading to “cars having to reverse considerable distances which include bends and very narrow sections”, Mr Thwaites said.

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However, the council’s transport officer said she had “no objections in principle” to the scheme, and Ewyas Harold group parish council also gave its support, along with 11 individuals locally.

Planning officer Laura Smith concluded that the proposal “provides an acceptable form of tourist development within a rural landscape [with] minimal impact to neighbouring dwellings, the wider landscape or the adjacent heritage asset”.