A proposed new estate of up to 350 homes on the east side of Hereford would make an eastern river crossing impossible.

This is apparent from the newly submitted outline planning application by local developer STL Group, to build on 25 hectares of farmland south of the A438 Ledbury Road.

An accompanying map shows the site extending to the edge of the Lugg Meadows Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which is protected from development – leaving no room for a road to connect to the proposed new eastern crossing over the Wye.


A decision on whether Hereford is to get a new river crossing, and if so on which side of the city, will be a key part of the New Road Strategy for Hereford, to be unveiled by Herefordshire Council’s Conservative administration next week.

While there are no comprehensive current studies setting out the case for a western bypass, a report for the council by engineering consultants AECOM in December narrowed down the options to the east to just two – both cutting across land earmarked for the estate.

A 66-page statement with the new application also says “capacity constraints” at nearby primary schools “would require children to travel further afield to Moridiford (sic) Primary School”, a 3.5-mile drive from the estate.

But the application gives “the option to deliver a primary school on-site”, which would also cater for children in recent new homes to the west – though the school is shown on the other (eastern) side of the estate.

There would also be a “moderately adverse” effect on the landscape, currently gently sloping famland. But the “very prominent” recent housing immediately to the west already has “a clear urbanising effect”, the application says.


The lower northeast corner of the site “is at risk of fluvial flooding from the river Lugg and its tributary… however no development is proposed for this area”, it adds. There would be a network of “swales” or ditches and drainage ponds to cope with storm water.

Details of the estate's layout will come in a later application if the outline bid is approved. But the “predominantly two-storey” houses would be in blocks, leaving around half the site as public open space.

Existing barns near the road would be replaced with commercial units, while “barn-style” farm shop and café would also be near the main road for ease of access.