Plans to convert six holiday cottages at a scenic Herefordshire spot into year-round “starter homes” have been approved despite local concerns.

Blasemere, based at the nearby Symonds Yat Leisure Park, applied at the end of last year for permission to convert the row of six single-storey, two-bedroom units in the grounds of the Paddocks Hotel.

Objecting to the plan, Whitchurch and Ganarew Parish Council said the cottages “are perilously close to the river Wye”.


“We consider it most unlikely that had the original application for them been this present application, then it would not have been considered,” it said.

It also claimed there is “no demonstrative need” for the change, given that tourism in the area “is much higher today than when these cottages were built, and demand for holiday cottage lettings is higher than ever”.

But in approving the application, planning officer Gemma Webster said the cottages lie within the Symonds Yat settlement boundary, “where the principle of new residential development is accepted”, in a spot not classified as being at high risk of flooding.

“There are no technical objections raised and the proposal complies with planning policy,” she concluded.