A BID to demolish a petrol station in Herefordshire has been met with resistance from locals, with 10 homes earmarked for the site.

Top Garage, on the outskirts of Bromyard on the A465 Hereford Road, is no longer a viable business, consultants said as they applied for planning permission from Herefordshire Council.

Applicant Nigel Davis wants permission for five “townhouses” of between three and five bedrooms, and five flats, arranged in three clusters rather than in a single block.

The application came just a year after a plan for twice the number of homes on the site was rejected, but now concerns have been raised over lasting damage to Bromyard's job opportunities.


The initial application said Top Garage had been on the market for around five years, the design and access statement submitted to the council said, but potential buyers failed to see the £900,000 business as viable.

And Cliff Morris, who lives in Panniers Lane, said the asking price was set at a housing premium and therefore there were no acceptable offers.

In a letter to Bromyard and Winslow Town Council to urge councillors not to back the bid, which they later did, he said reference is made to replacing the "unsightly and under-utilised garage premises".

But he pointed out that the photographs supplied in the application report showed the site was "neglected is under its current ownership" and a "simple clearing of scrap, junk and debris would improve it immeasurably".

He also said it wasn't a brownfield site, as defined by CPRE, the countryside charity, and the loss of employment land would further damage the already poor employment prospects for Bromyard. He has objected to the proposal, but Herefordshire Council is yet to publish his letter.

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"If the route to gain residential planning permission is to try to sell commercial/employment land at an inflated price, get no offers then apply for housing then a precedent would be set that could 'open the floodgates' and will inevitably damage employment prospects," Mr Morris said.

He also highlighted problems in the local area regarding the water supply, as well as the fact the land would be classed as contaminated.

"The proposed homes are an 'in your face' urban design, out of keeping with this prominent rural location," he said.


"Far from a 'gateway' to Bromyard it will be a three-story sore thumb 10 metres high, visible from the Malvern Hills. The Top Garage and HOPE lighting already dominate this ridge and with additional dwellings, any hope of rural dark skies will be futile.

"I urge you to vote against this application which would be real support for the future prospects of Bromyard and its residents which have been so badly served in the past.

"Housing without jobs is not in the interest of Bromyard or its residents."

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.