A new plan to replace a Herefordshire petrol station and service garage with 10 homes has been put forward, a year after a plan for twice the number of homes on the site was rejected.

Nigel Davis, co-owner of Top Garage on the A465 south of Bromyard, has applied to replace it with five “townhouses” of between three and five bedrooms, and five flats, arranged in three clusters rather than in a single block.

The two-and-a-half-storey buildings will “adopt the broad principles” of the Passivhaus sustainability standard, covering insulation, ventilation and materials, and will “most likely” take heat from ground-source heat pumps.

They would also employ a “simple palette” of materials based on guidance for the nearby Malvern Hills area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).


Herefordshire Council rejected a previous bid to build five houses and 15 flats at the site in December 2021, due to the issue of likely additional pollution entering the river Lugg SAC (special area of conservation), as well as issues of design, transport, housing mix, impact on neighbours, and the lack of a so-called section 106 agreement to provide wider infrastructure benefits.

But a 54-page planning statement accompanying the new bid sets out how it will address these, following talks with Herefordshire Council planners back in spring.

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Among these, it seeks to use the council’s “wetland credits” scheme, yet to be formally launched to bids, to overcome the pollution issue.

An attempt to sell the garage site early last year appears to have been unsuccessful.

Comments on the application, numbered 224154, can be made until February 2.