A plan to build five traditional houses in a Herefordshire village have been refused.

Local firm Border Oak Design & Construction had applied for permission to develop a three-quarter-hectare field at the northeast end of the linear village, to the rear of its 19th-century Methodist chapel.

Alongside the three-bedroom, energy-efficient, oak-framed homes, there was to be a new heritage orchard and wildflower meadow.


Kingsland parish council objected that the scheme would be on grade 2 farmland outside the village settlement boundary, and said it would also “detract from its linear form”.

Councillors also considered the single-track access road unsuitable, and its junction with the main A4110 unsafe – though this was not raised as an issue by the county highway engineer.

And they questioned Welsh Water’s claim that the area’s sewerage network was up to the job, saying there have been already “many” blockages from the “aged, narrow” sewer, “including incidents where raw sewage has been discharged on to the road”.


There were 25 public objections, and two submissions backing the plan.

The council’s historic buildings officer Holly Houghton also objected to the impact the scheme would have on the village conservation area and the setting of the chapel, which she described as “of local historic interest”.

Planning officer Simon Rowles concluded that harm to the village’s linear settlement pattern, landscape character and to the rural setting of the chapel “compounds the degree of environmental harm” that the development would cause.

And while the applicant intended buying nutrient credits from the council to offset any harm to the protected river Lugg catchment, the fact that this had not been legally secured also provided a reason to object to the plan, Mr Rowles said.