A plan by elderly, disabled locals for two self-built houses on a paddock by a Herefordshire village has been refused for a number of reasons.

A resubmitted application by Mr and Mrs J Hayday and Mr J Fildes said earlier discussions with planning officers over the planned three-bedroom bungalows in Luston north of Leominster were “optimistic and hopeful”.

However a previous application also for two houses on the site was refused last June.

In addressing this, the latest application said that, without a local policy on self-built homes, the council “has not given sufficient weight” to recent legislation promoting such developments.


“It should be a material consideration that [the applicants] should not be thrown on the scrapheap because they have now become elderly, disabled and still wish to live in the community which they are familiar with,” the application added.

But neighbours Keith and Patricia Thomas said they were “surprised that an application so firmly rejected has reared its head again”.

“Boundaries and conservation areas are there for a purpose, if they are breached we may as well throw the rule book away and forget Luston as a village,” they wrote.

Luston group parish council also restated its objection to the development outside the designated settlement boundary.

Planning officer Amber Morris agreed with this point, while noting the rural Leominster area has already passed its housing growth targets.

The design also “fails to conserve or enhance” the village’s conservation area, the decision notice said.

The proposal also fell victim to the restriction on development in the river Lugg catchment, which requires all such work to show it will not add to water pollution. The safety of the proposed road access onto the B4361 through the village was also questioned.

“Whilst the development may have some benefits through the provision of self-build housing, they would be very modest, and would not outweigh the conflict with the county’s spatial strategy or the likely environmental disadvantages,” Miss Morris concluded.