A plan to turn the former place of worship of Hereford’s Jehovah’s Witnesses into a shared house for up to nine residents have been approved.

Originally a social club, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Chave Court, off the city’s Grandstand Road, has been out of use since 2021.

The application for planning permission for a house of multiple occupation (HMO), submitted in October by local architects firm Hook Mason on behalf of J Abedan, said “minor internal alterations” would be required to repurpose the building.


Hereford city council objected to what it called the “over-development”, which it said would make for “poor quality accommodation with no amenity space”, while the lack of parking “could negatively impact on the surrounding area”.

The councillors said they would rather see the building divided into three or four single-bedroom self-contained flats instead.


A later email from the architects to planning officer Simon Rowles said that the plans had since been revised, dropping the maximum number of residents from 12 to nine and including an extra toilet.

“The use of this building as an HMO suits the fact that there is no curtilage to include any vehicle parking of which higher quality flats would likely require,” the email explained, adding that tenancy agreements would be restricted to non-car-owning occupants.

This appeared to satisfy Mr Rowles, who concluded that the revised plan “will give rise to an adequate standard of living”. But he included a condition limiting the maximum number of occupants to nine.