A bid to make lawful a parking place and footbridge serving an isolated Herefordshire cottage has been dismissed by a government planning inspector.

Mr B Macleod-Needs applied in September 2022 for planning permission to retain the temporary measures previously put in during work to remove trees and stabilise ground by the Back Brook at Rock Cottage off the A44 Kington bypass.

County highways officer Katy Jones objected, saying the council would normally only allow new access onto a “high-speed” road such as the bypass “in exceptional circumstances, to improve an unsatisfactory situation”.


“This is not the case here, as it is a matter of private convenience which is not for the benefit of the general public,” she wrote.

When Herefordshire Council failed to determine the application in the prescribed eight-week period, Mr Macleod-Needs took the case to appeal, and planning officer N Robinson was appointed to rule on it.

The council told the inspector it would have refused his application, as is had an earlier similar bid, again over road safety concerns.


Rock Cottage does not have immediate vehicle access or a parking area of its own, the inspector said in their report, and is only accessed by a footpath which Mr Macleod-Needs now considered dangerous.

Regularising the parking bay “would assist a family member who, due to mobility reasons, would benefit from parking close to the main dwelling,” the inspector wrote.

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But a safe layout to the bay would require much larger visibility “splays” for vehicles arriving and leaving, they said – and land required for this did not belong to Mr Macleod-Needs.

“In light of this, I cannot be satisfied that a safe and suitable access would be achieved and maintained,” the inspector concluded.

They noted Mr Macleod-Needs’ concerns about how the council handled his planning application, and his personal circumstances – but considered this “did not outweigh the harm” of the proposal.