A developer has been denied permission for a house in a prominent Herefordshire spot despite it being already nearly built.

In 2019, Martin Rohde began building what were intended to be two homes on the site by the Etnam Street Car Park, Leominster, immediately south of the Grange park.

Herefordshire Council refused his retrospective application for planning permission for these later that year, then issued an enforcement notice requiring them to be demolished.


Mr Rohde’s appeal against this was dismissed in June 2020. However he then submitted a further planning application to adapt the building as a single house, with lower eaves and changes to the positions of the windows.

This would have made it closer in appearance to Mr Rohde’s earlier plan for the site, approved in 2011 but not built within the permitted time.

But according to the council’s historic buildings office officer, this would still “lack several of the features which are considered significant to the negotiated design as a coach house”.


Local councillor Jenny Bartlett said at the time that given the investment in the town centre under the Heritage Action Zone programme, it was “even more important” that new or altered buildings in the conservation area respect local planning policy.

In its second refusal, the council said the revised proposal was still “a poor quality design which does not respond positively to the site context” which would “cause an unjustifiable level of harm” to the area.

Mr Rohde appealed against this also.

However planning inspector Tamsin Law has now backed the council’s refusal, saying the house “would be in marked contrast with the existing pattern of development, and introduce an uncharacteristic form of development” into the town conservation area.

“The incongruousness of the proposals would be exacerbated by the building’s prominent positioning, design detailing, height, scale and massing,” she said, adding that there were also unresolved issues around surface water drainage from the site.

One neighbour welcomed this, calling the building “an eyesore”.

Herefordshire Council was asked to confirm whether enforcement action to have it demolished would now recommence.