CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish a Herefordshire petrol station and replace it with new homes have won the support of the local council.

Plans to build five houses and 15 flats at the Top Garage site in Bromyard were rejected by Herefordshire Council in 2021, due to the issue of likely additional pollution entering the river Lugg SAC (special area of conservation), as well as issues of design, transport, housing mix, impact on neighbours, and the lack of a so-called section 106 agreement to provide wider infrastructure benefits.

But a new bid to build 10 homes on the site was submitted in 2023, with applicant Nigel Davis wanting permission for five “townhouses” of between three and five bedrooms, and five flats, arranged in three clusters rather than in a single block.


The plans come as the garage, on the A465 Hereford Road on the outskirts of Bromyard, is no longer a viable business, according to the application.

But the application has attracted a number of objections, including from the site's immediate neighbour, Bromyard's HOPE Centre, a community charity offering childcare, and operating as a child contact centre, among other services.

In their submission to Herefordshire Council, the centre's chief executive officer Sarah Eardley said the application is a "small improvement" on the previous application. 

But, she said, she is "extremely worried" about the "negative impact" the application will have on the centre's "ability to sustain services in their current format".

Ms Eardley raised questions over the need for more homes in that specific area, light access to the centre's courtyard, privacy, the accuracy of a boundary shown on plans, water pressure, parking provision, security, pedestrian access, and drainage and sewer access, among other issues. 

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She also said the potential impact on children and families of harmful emissions from the demolition of the site was "extremely worrying".

"We understand from the application there may be asbestos on site, and there are unidentified liquids/containers the contents of which are unknown," Ms Eardley said.

But, minutes from Bromyard Town Council's March meeting of the planning and economic development committee show, councillors resolved to support the application.

Consultation has now closed and the application will go before Herefordshire Council at a later date.