A plan to build six larger houses in a Herefordshire village has been refused by a Government-appointed inspector.

Claire Price’s scheme for a field off Greyhound Close, Longtown near the Welsh border was for six detached two-storey houses, reduced from an earlier ten, with three to five bedrooms in each.

Longtown parish council said that though the site was earmarked for development in the village’s neighbourhood plan, this was for “affordable housing, not larger, more expensive housing”, adding: “Single-storey dwellings are needed for elderly residents to downsize.”

Around 40 objections were also lodged by members of the public.

Councillors on Herefordshire’s planning committee then went against planning officers’ advice and refused the scheme last June, agreeing with the parish that it did not match the “size, type and range” of housing needed in the village.


Ms Price then appealed against the refusal, leading to an inquiry by planning inspector Emma Worley.

A letter to the inspector from Ms Price's agent claimed that the council had supported her revised plan to include three-bedroom houses, but were now arguing that even these were too large relative to housing need.

In dismissing the appeal however, Ms Worley concluded that, though the scheme “would be of a high-quality design”, the proposed sizes “would deviate from the recommended housing mix to meet the identified local need”.

More, smaller houses could be built on the same site instead, “without a notable increase in built form”, her decision added.

Ms Worley also dismissed Ms Price’s bid for an award of the appeal costs against Herefordshire Council, saying: “I cannot agree that the council has acted unreasonably in this case.”