Plans to more than double the size of a Herefordshire travellers’ site have been rejected over safety concerns.

The Herefordshire Council-owned Turnpike site north of Pembridge has been closed since March 2021, with the building and pitches now “in a state of disrepair”, case officer Adam Lewis told the county’s planning committee yesterday (September 6).

A plan submitted by the council for approval over a year ago proposed extending this to accommodate up to eight more caravans, along with a new utility room, play area and sewage package plant.


These were to be accessed from a new junction onto a private road immediately to the north leading to the Torvale Industrial Estate, home to the Kingspan Insulation factory and other businesses.

Pembridge parish councillor Andrew Pace said the new road access was just one of several “substantial defects” with the plan.

Given that “over 600 vehicles, mainly HGVs” use the road daily, it would be “entirely foreseeable that there will be an accident involving children” if the access were permitted.


“Blood will be on the hands of those who put forward and approved this,” he warned.

He added: “Past experience has shown the need for a robust site management plan, without which the site becomes chaotic. There has been significant pollution caused by litter and other matter in and around the site.”

His concerns over safe access were echoed by Bill Stokes, representing ten local businesses, and by ward member Coun Roger Phillips.

Owen Fry of the council’s agent, property services firm Berrys, said developing the scheme had “involved a great deal of pre-application discussion” with county and parish councils, local businesses and consultants, and that highways officials have raised no objection.

For the committee, Coun Bruce Baker said the council “”would be hard pressed to find a more suitable location for a travellers’ site”, noting there did not appear to have been any accidents under the previous access.

But Coun Richard Thomas said he accepted Coun Pace’s road safety warnings, while Coun Polly Andrews added: “We have no control over access onto a private road.”

And chairman Coun Terry James said: “If we had overflow parking on that private road, as was the problem in the past, we would have major safety problems that we couldn’t enforce [against].”

The motion to refuse the application was backed by 11 votes to two.

The Turnpike site is one of six listed in the county’s travellers’ sites development plan of 2019, which earmarked five of these for expansion.