FEARS over the state of historic buildings, including a decrepit former hotel in a prominent town centre spot, have been raised in one Herefordshire town.

A meeting of Bromyard Town Council's planning committee heard from a local resident that they had concerns about the deterioration of Bromyard's Tower Hill House, Hop Pole Hotel, old magistrates court, and old police station.

Tower Hill House is a stunning black and white building dating back to 1630, and holds a grade II* listing, while the old magistrates court and police station in Church Street is not listed.


The grade II listed Hop Pole, which dominates the town's Market Square, is owned by millionaire businessman Alfie Best, and has been empty for some years.

It was bought by the businessman, who has previously spoken of his plans to revamp it, in 2019.

Planning permission was granted with conditions in February 2023 for proposed internal alterations, conversion of attic space, rooflights, the demolition of a rear single storey extension and replacement larger extension, reinstatement of a historic window, ramped disabled access, and the introduction of dining area into newly discovered basement area.

However work does not appear to have started in any major way at the hotel, which is externally visibly deteriorating.

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Minutes from the December meeting of the committee said that the council has no legal powers of enforcement to ensure buildings are maintained by their owners in a safe and respectful manner, and that this power is the responsibility of Herefordshire Council and its historic building conservation officers.

The committee resolved to invite the historic buildings officer to a meeting in Bromyard to discuss the council's concerns regarding the "failing condition" of some of the heritage buildings in the town and what action Herefordshire Council will take to protect them.

A response to Herefordshire Council regarding concerns raised about the condition and safety of the Hop Pole and the old magistrates court would be discussed at the December full council meeting, the minutes said.