A plan to knock down a Hereford hotel and replace it with a Lidl discount supermarket has been narrowly approved.

Following a debate lasting over two hours this morning, a majority of Herefordshire Council's planning committee backed the controversial plan, for the Three Counties Hotel site off the city's A465 Belmont Road.

Local representatives spoke of the widespread local opposition to the supermarket, chiefly over its likely impact on traffic on the main road.


But case officer Heather Carlisle told the committee: “There are no technical objections to this proposal, and there are no preferable sites.”

And agent for Lidl Peter Waldren said the new store would not add to congestion as many trips there would simply take the place of trips already going to other supermarkets.

Hereford Times: The Lidl proposal is voted through - but only by half of planning committee councillorsThe Lidl proposal is voted through - but only by half of planning committee councillors (Image: LDRS)

Coun Richard Thomas had proposed refusing Lidl's scheme on several grounds, but this was rejected by fellow committee members after officers highlighted the difficulty in supporting these objections with evidence.

The hotel has for the last year served as accommodation for asylum seekers overseen by the Home Office.

But the last such resident has now left, leaving it empty and now apparently awaiting demolition.