A rural Herefordshire business has been told to shut up shop after it fell foul of local planning rules.

Local Hire Services, which hires out machinery, tools and site equipment, had sought retrospective permission for two buildings it had put up to house them at its Lower Woodend site by Stoke Lacy near Bromyard.

Council officers had warned the firm that it had not gained permission for the buildings, and initially suggested they file a retrospective application to get them permitted.


But Emma Willis’ application was refused last November, with planning officer Gemma Webster ruling the work at the site constituted “unsustainable development that would have an adverse impact on nearby neighbours”.

Now the council has issued the firm with an enforcement notice requiring it to “cease the use of the land for plant hire business purposes” within six months of the start of next month, and to remove the contested buildings within nine months.

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The council said that their use had not continued for more than ten years, nor had the buildings been completed more than fours years ago – grounds which would have exempted the firm from enforcement.

Local Hire Services now has a month in which to appeal against the notice before it takes effect.

Ms Willis declined to comment on the case.