A plan to build up to 250 new homes by a Herefordshire town, first put forward over six years ago, is now back on.

People of Bromyard were first asked in 2017 for their views on the outline proposal by Bovis Homes for farmland at Hardwick Bank immediately to the west of the town.

Now signs have appeared near the site saying the consultation has been extended to June 12 of this year.

The new proposal is smaller in scale and area than the 500 homes first proposed, but still includes room to expand the adjacent St Peter's Primary School, and a new road junction onto the A44.


It appears the dormant plan has been reactivated due to Herefordshire Council’s newly introduced nutrient credits scheme.

Many developments in Herefordshire totalling over a thousand homes, of which the Hardwick Bank scheme is among the earliest and largest, have been held up since June 2019 by a “moratorium” on developments in water-sensitive areas.

A study last year by property services firm Lichfields said this had cost the county £316 million in lost investment.


Now, according to a “nutrient neutrality assessment and mitigation strategy” recently submitted on behalf of Bovis’ parent company Vistry Group: “Mitigation of the proposed development will be provided via a third-party credit scheme.

“The credit needs for the development will be met via the Herefordshire Council Lugg catchment phosphate credit scheme, therefore making this development nutrient-neutral.”

The credits effectively fund investment in constructed wetlands around water treatment works in the county, which absorb an equivalent amount of phosphate to that expected to be produced by the new homes.

It has already been used to enable an eight-home development at Luston. But this is thought to be the first time the credits system has been applied on such a scale.

Comments on the application, numbered 163932, can be made here.