A huge new estate on the edge of a Herefordshire town has finally been given the go-ahead.

National housebuilder Persimmon Homes has had to wait five years for its bid to develop 12 hectares of brownfield land at Barons Cross immediately west of Leominster to be approved.

Currently unused, the site was previously home to a World War Two hospital camp, and while most of the buildings from this era were demolished in the early 2000s, roads and other infrastructure remain.


It was first earmarked for housing over two decades ago, with permission for an outline plan for 425 homes given in 2006. And while a detailed scheme for this was never built, the outline permission remained on the books.

A modified plan for the site detailing 414 homes was approved in 2018, the developer pulling out shortly after, while Persimmon then submitted the current scheme for the site in October 2019.

This was then held up over the vexed issue of “nutrient neutrality”, whereby new developments in the protected river Lugg catchment have had to demonstrate they would not add to overall water pollution in the area.

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Herefordshire Council has recently begun to unblock such schemes by offering developers “phosphate credits” to offset any such pollution by funding improvements elsewhere in the river system.

Credits to the value of over half a million pounds have now being agreed, which along with other so-called section 106 agreements for Persimmon to fund various local improvements, has cleared the way for building to finally start.

The mix of houses has been tweaked in the intervening time and will now be range from one-bedroom flats to five-bedroom detached homes.


Around a quarter will be classed as affordable and will be transferred to a local housing association.

There will be two new areas of green space, in the middle and to the north, and a new roundabout junction with the existing B4360 Cholstrey Road.

The plan drew relatively few public objections – just eight over three separate consultation periods.

Leominster town council wanted the proposal to be decided by the county’s planning committee but ward councillor Allan Williams did not support this.

Planning officer Adam Lewis concluded the plan’s scale, layout, appearance and landscaping were acceptable in local planning policy terms.

None of the properties can be occupied until April next year, and no garages can be converted into accommodation.