A plan to build a block of 53 retirement flats in a Herefordshire town has been rejected by councillors, against an official recommendation.

McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles was seeking planning permission for the three- and four-storey building on the site of a current bungalow accessed from the Homend north of Ledbury town centre.

Local ward member Coun Liz Harvey asked for the proposal to be decided on by Herefordshire Council’s planning committee, which met yesterday (October 25).


Planning officer Chloe Smart had recommended that councillors approve the plan, citing its “highly sustainable location”.

For Ledbury town council, Coun Phillip Howells said the developer had been told last year that the one-hectare site was a protected green space, “which they had not realised”. It then failed to have this designation removed, he said.

The town council also objected to the lack of a share of affordable housing or support for local infrastructure and services, and to the height and density of the flats, he added.


Local resident Dr David Lloyd said the “overbearing, monolithic slab” of the building would be “really out of character with neighbouring properties, causing them loss of privacy”.

Agent for the applicant Rachel Clare responded that the site’s green space status “does not preclude development where it can be justified”.

“There are no objections to this scheme from highways, drainage, landscape, heritage or ecology officers,” she pointed out.

However councillors voted to reject the proposal, with two abstentions.