The fate of a planned community growing and cookery hub and all-weather sports pitch on the edge of Hereford will be decided by councillors next week. But not everyone welcomes the proposal.

On eight hectares of land at Ashley Farm, Grafton to the southwest of the city, the £3.7-million Southside Project is one of the 15 Stronger Hereford projects sharing a government funding package for the city.

But Valerie Wood of nearby Grosmont Grove said it would be “an eyesore”, would create “noise and air pollution from extra vehicles” and would “attract undesirable people”.


The proposed vehicle access would be from Vernon Williams Close, “a short and narrow cul-de-sac for local residents”, who would be “severely and adversely impacted” by the extra traffic, Richard Barnes of Falstaff Road said.

A Ms A Begg of Brobury Close said the proposal “would exacerbate the problem of flooding, which already exists”, noting that the existing houses “are significantly lower than the proposed development”.

Backing up concerns over noise, Herefordshire council environmental health officer Phillipa Long said she would prefer the sports pitch to instead on the furthest part of the site from homes, and called for a noise barrier to be put around the pitch as part of a noise management plan.


“Given that many local authorities’ experience noise and nuisance complaints in relation to these pitches, I would consider this essential to any permission,” she said.

She also requested that approved lighting for the pitch be made a condition of any permission granted, “to avoid nuisance to local residents”.

No objections have been made by highways, landscape or ecology officers, while a commissioned flood risk assessment found “no significant flood risk issues”.

Among messages supporting the project, Helen Powell said it was “an amazing opportunity for the south side of Hereford”, while Katey Lyons wrote: “My family and I are very excited to volunteer and intend to be very active with this project.”

Clive Perryman said that having visited “many” community gardens elsewhere, “they have all had a very positive effect on community well-being”.

Callow and Haywood Parish Council said it supported the application “in principle”, but sought assurance that traffic entering from Vernon Williams Close should not be able to cross the site to Grafton Lane or Merryhill Lane.

Herefordshire Council’s planning and regulatory committee will rule on the outline application next Wednesday (August 16).