THE Hereford Times believes that allowing a new 350-home estate between Hereford and the Lugg Meadow to the would be a mistake – which is why we have launched Our Precious Meadow campaign.

The planned 25-hectare development south of the A438 Ledbury Road would be right next to the Lugg Meadow, recognised as a rare and precious space rich in wildlife, plants and heritage.

Hereford Times:

An ecological report with the planning application acknowledges that the site lies within the “impact zone” of not one but two nationally important sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).

As well as the estate’s urbanising effect on the meadow's setting, there would likely be disturbance to its wildlife through extra noise, lighting and also through the new residents and their pets using the protected areas.

The iconic but increasingly rare curlew, which breeds in the meadows, could become locally extinct as a result.


And while flood mitigation measures are proposed with the new development, it has been clear over the past winter that the area is highly vulnerable to flooding, the floodwater eventually being drained by the ecologically vulnerable river Lugg.

What would the effect on this be of large new built-up areas on the land sloping down towards it?

Then there is the question of where the scheme fits into meeting the county’s need for new housing and associated infrastructure. There has been much building in and around Hereford in recent years and a good deal more is already planned in the county’s local plan, on which views are currently being taken.

Hereford Times: Curlews can be seen on Lugg Meadow.Curlews can be seen on Lugg Meadow. (Image: Terry Whittaker/2020Vision)

Three main earmarked sites to the north, north-west and south of the city are already planned for nearly 3,000 new houses. To allow this development on top of those risks undermining faith in planning in the county and opening it up to further speculative proposals.

Indeed, the neighbourhood plan for Hampton Bishop parish, in which the site lies, explicitly rejects any development of this sensitive area on the city’s edge.

Lastly, it would effectively kill off the option of a future eastern crossing linking this part of the city south to Rotherwas, tying the hands of a future county administration who may want to pick up this plan.