A plan to knock down the ruins of a once-popular Herefordshire ballroom and replace them with five houses and 15 holiday lodges has been approved.

The redevelopment of Park Hall, Wormelow was controversial enough locally for it to be passed to Herefordshire Council’s planning committee to decide on yesterday (December 13).

Recommending approval, planning officer Heather Carlisle said “a large number” of the 46 public objections lodged “are from the same family and employees of Simply Stunning”, a interiors business that would share road access with the development.


Much Birch parish council chair Alison Cook said the parish questioned whether the site was appropriate for a holiday park, bordered as it is by housing, businesses and a care home, and into which the lodges would be “crammed”, with no on-site amenities.

But the applicant, Mrs S Rogan of Blaismere Leisure Park, Whitchurch said that 19 years after being gutted by fire, the ballroom “is now in a very sorry state”.

Pointing out that her plan had drawn no objections from officials, she said the proposed Park Hall Grange development would be “beautifully landscaped” and would “support our local economy within Wormelow, a sustainable location”.

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She and her husband would be on-hand to address local concerns, and were prepared to have quarterly meetings with residents, she said.

Ward councillor Richard Thomas said the committee’s site visit the previous day had been “strange and sad, as I have very fond memories of Park Hall” including of his own wedding reception there.

“Houses are desperately needed in the area, there are transport links, everything fits,” he said.


Coun Stef Simmons said she would have preferred the development to have been entirely of housing of a scale to ensure an element of affordable housing and local infrastructure funding, especially as Wormelow has a “very unusual” level of amenities.

And Coun Toni Fagan of neighbouring Much Birch ward said that while development of this site “is long overdue”, the proposed 37 conditions, covering everything from parking to tree roots, were “concerning, given the difficulty we have in enforcing conditions”.

However councillors on the committee passed the scheme unanimously.