Controversial static caravans for seasonal workers at a Herefordshire farm have still not been given planning permission, a year after a decision was due.

A S Green & Co of Rookrow Farm, Mathon near the Worcestershire border submitted an application to permit the 33 caravans at the farm in December 2021. But it was retrospective – that is, the caravans were already in place at the time.

Herefordshire Council gave itself until the end of March last year to decide whether or not to permit them, but has still not done so.


During the consultation period, the bid drew over 40 objections as well as around 20 letters of support.

The caravans lie around 200 metres from the Malvern Hills National Landscape (formerly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or AONB).

The area's assistant manager Karen Humphries said the caravans went against national planning policy on AONBs, as well as against Malvern Hills AONB’s own management plan regarding farm buildings.


The farm’s business model of bringing in overseas fresh produce out of season for packing at the farm packhouse is meanwhile “giving rise to very large delivery lorries frequently driving through the AONB and the village, causing both noise pollution and traffic issues”, she said.

But Herefordshire fruit grower and chairman of the NFU West Midlands horticulture board Anthony Snell said accommodation for seasonal workers was needed in a part of the country which is “vital for major horticultural production”.

Meanwhile the farm has submitted a further application (240414) for confirmation that the change of use of the farm packhouse to “a general industrial and storage or distribution” rather than agricultural use, took place over ten years ago and is therefore immune from planning enforcement.

The building has for some time been used to process, pack and distribute “significant amounts of produce not grown on A S Green’s agricultural holding”, a statement with the application says.

It is due to be discussed by Mathon parish council next Tuesday evening (March 19).