Concerns have been raised over the “deteriorating” condition of a grand but out-of-sight manor house in Hereford.

The grade II listed Elmhurst, down a now closed-off drive off Venns Lane next to the Nuffield hospital, is a large two-storey, mid-19th century building dating from when the Aylestone Hill area was still open countryside.

With an ornate interior, it was later extended on several occasions and outbuildings added.


Elmhurst served as a council-run nursing home until 2008, when it was sold to a private nursing home operator.

It appears to have lain unused since, despite a planning application to renovate the site and knock down some outbuildings being approved in 2015.

A Ms Borley of Monkhide near Ledbury said the council “has been made aware of the condition of Elmhurst”.

And she asked: “Given that protection of our heritage and culture is a key commitment of the Herefordshire county plan, is it not time the council used its powers to ensure that this important listed building in the Aylestone Hill conservation area deteriorates no further?”

'Clearly in need of repair'

Cabinet member for environment Coun Elissa Swinglehurst replied: “Protection of our heritage remains a key commitment of the council, and this is an important local asset. However, there are restrictions as to when and how the council can intervene.”

She said that while planning enforcement and conservation officers had visited the property last July, “there was no current evidence of any breach of planning regulations, though the building is clearly in need of some repair/maintenance”.

Officers “will continue to monitor the building on a regular basis and assess whether planning or other breaches have occurred, utilising our relevant statutory powers to take appropriate action where required”, Coun Swinglehurst said.