A stalled plan to build up to six homes in a Herefordshire village can now go ahead, despite widespread local opposition.

The bid for outline permission to build on farmland north of School Road, Tarrington was first made by local firm Tatintune nearly five years ago.

It is one of the first in the county to make use of a “phosphate credit” scheme to offset river pollution arising from it – an issue which has stalled building in much of the county for nearly four years.

A previous bid by the firm to build 15 houses on the same site was refused in 2017.


But Tarrington is earmarked for housing growth in the county’s development plan, and the site in question is identified for “around six” dwellings in the village’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP), planning officer Ollie Jones pointed out.

The application drew over 120 objections, although the parish council remained supportive.

One local objector, Edward Watkins, wrote in his submission: “Unfortunately we have a parish council who, for some reason have championed the School Road site to the exclusion of all other sites, irrespective of their merits.”


Mr Watkins told a council planning meeting deciding on the proposal this week that the scheme was “too large and would extend onto the public footpath”, contrary to the NDP. He also claimed the plans indicate that “this is the first part of a larger development”.

But for the developer, Rupert Foley said he was “delighted to be in the first phase of developments to be offered phosphate credits”, and that the scheme would be “in a sustainable location, and will bring social environmental and economic benefits to the area”.

Mr Jones acknowledged the houses, whose design will be the subject of a later planning application, “would invariably change the character of the village”. But “a sensitive landscape-led development [would] deliver a suitable housing mix and other benefits”, he concluded.

Planning committee councillors went with his recommendation, the sole dissenting voice being Coun Jeremy Milln, who questioned whether best-quality farmland should be built on, as this is “a finite resource, and we need it”.