A new but “extremely traditional” four-bedroom farmhouse planned for a scenic but remote Herefordshire spot has been approved.

The plan by Elliott Pritchard of Olchon Mill, a 65-acre livestock farm near Longtown in the far southwest of the county, is for a rendered stone-built house on undeveloped roadside land, requiring new access.

A timber-clad garage would be built alongside it.

Mr Pritchard and his young family “are in urgent need of a house”, an accompanying letter from his agent says.

With stock numbers at the farm increasing, the new accommodation would meet the need to have the farmer permanently on-site to deal with emergency animal welfare issues, to assist with lambing and calving, as well to provide daily animal care.

Yet five suitably-sized nearby properties recently on the market had an average asking price of over £700,000, the application shows. 


Longton Group Parish Council said it was pleased to support an application “by and for local working people”, while there were 13 further individual letters of support and no objections.

“Our local farming community is under extreme pressure from rising house prices [due to] purchase of second homes,” one submission said, adding that Mr Pritchard’s family “work extremely hard to preserve a rural way of life”.

Planning officer Elsie Morgan pointed out that new houses in open countryside are only permitted if they are to house farm or forestry workers who need to live on-site and where there is a lack of suitable existing accommodation.

Such buildings are encouraged to be “of exceptional quality”, to “maintain local distinctiveness” and to meet “sustainable standards of design and construction”, according to county planning policy.

Ms Morgan said the materials intended for the farmhouse would match those seen in other houses nearby, while its “simple form maintains rural character”.

Conditions attached to the permission require the occupant of the farmhouse to be “solely or mainly” employed in farming or forestry locally, and prevent the sale or letting of either the existing farm buildings or the new farmhouse separately from one another.

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