Controversial plans to build a house in the garden of a former Herefordshire village pub have been refused permission.

Rugby-based Choice Circle had applied to build a two-storey, three-bedroom house in the grounds of the Old Boot, formerly the Wellington, in the village of the same name north of Hereford.

This would “generate new streams of revenue to supplement the existing pub trade”, its application said.


But the plans flew in the face of local efforts to preserve the pub, closed since 2019, as a community facility, and drew huge opposition locally with 129 individual objections lodged.

Herefordshire CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, objected that the plan would make the village’s only pub less viable and appealing, and that not enough effort had been made to find a taker for it.

Wellington parish council also “unanimously strongly objected” to the plan, while Herefordshire Council’s environmental health department had “serious concerns” about putting a house within a pub beer garden.


“Even if double or acoustic glazing was installed, I cannot see how future occupants of the residential building could enjoy their property with the windows open and not suffer substantial disturbance,” she wrote.

The pub itself would “very likely have their operations curtailed due to noise complaints from future occupiers”. Yet no noise assessment had been carried out or any mitigation put forward, she pointed out.

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The council’s building conservation officer also considered that the proposal would not “preserve or enhance the character” of the village's conservation area.

Planning officer Perry Lowson concluded that the plan would indeed “diminish the viability of a community facility and economic resource without justification”, putting it “at long-term risk”.

The proposed house was also “unacceptable in design terms”, while plans for dealing with surface and foul water were also inadequate, he ruled.