Plans for four “high-quality and energy-efficient” houses at a north Herefordshire farm have stirred local opposition on several grounds.

The four would replace barns at Ryelands Farm near Brimfield, which would be demolished, according to a planning application by Shropshire resident Mr P Mann.

Plans to convert the existing buildings into four homes were approved last year under so-called permitted development rights. This now constitutes a “fall-back” if the current bid is refused, and makes it more likely it will be granted.


The “predominantly 20th-century” farm buildings to be cleared include Dutch barns, portal-framed livestock sheds, a former dairy and Nissen huts, the application explained.

With “a barn-like style of architecture befitting this agricultural site” the houses of stone, brick, timber cladding and natural slate would together form a courtyard around the track, which continues to a farmhouse immediately beyond.

They would have solar panels on south-facing roofs, combined with air-source heat pumps and an airtight, highly insulated fabric. A new passing place would be created along the single-lane access track.


“The application scheme gives rise to more planning benefits than the fall-back position and causes no additional adverse impacts,” the application claimed.

But Brimfield and Little Hereford parish council has objected, saying the farm is not within the village settlement boundary, that the scheme does not provide a mix of house tenures, types and sizes, and is “not in keeping with the character and appearance of the area”.

Parish councillors said the proposal would also increase traffic on an “already busy, narrow” lane, and questioned the drainage arrangements, by which a packet treatment plant would drain into a nearby brook.

No public objections have been published, consultation on the proposal having finished yesterday (November 23).

A decision on the planning application is expected next month.