A plan for 16 new flats in the middle of a Herefordshire town has been put forward, after a similar bid failed a year ago.

The proposal is to convert and extend commercial buildings at 2-5 Market Place, Ross-on-Wye, and to build a further three-storey block with “undercroft” parking to the rear, creating ten one-bedroom and six two-bedroom flats.

Six of these would be classed as affordable housing, of which two would be sold at 30 per cent below market value under the First Homes scheme.


The site is a sensitive spot next to the grade II* listed Market House, within the town’s conservation area. As well as door onto Market Place, the properties would have vehicle and pedestrian access to the rear via The Old Gaol, a lane running from New Street.

Within the courtyard there would be 31 car parking spaces and 20 secure cycle spaces, while a new roof garden and terrace would be created by removing a lower section of roof.

The two shops on the ground floor of 2-5 Market Place, currently housing a Boots chemist and Mountain Warehouse store, would remain but would be refurbished.

The “highly energy efficient, sustainable, quality living spaces… on a site which currently detracts from the conservation area” would instead “make a modest contribution to addressing Hereford’s housing deficit and adding variety to the housing stock”, according to the application, once again by Mr B Smith of S Andrews & Son of Pwllheli, Gwynedd.

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The firm’s previous bid to develop the site was refused last March for a number of reasons including lack of heritage impact assessment, the “over-dominant” proposed extra floor overlooking Market Place, and the scheme’s overall lack of “local distinctiveness”, drainage, housing mix and the lack of a so-called section 106 commitment to fund wider area improvements.

The current application claims to address these shortcomings, including with a 57-page heritage statement.

While the extra floor will be retained, it would be in the form of a sloping “mansard” roof “more typical of the conservation area”, with four dormer windows facing the square.

Comments on the application, numbered 230032, can be made until February 23.