A Hereford indoor climbing centre is seeking permission to remain in use, some time after its temporary planning permission expired.

Boulder Barn in College Road to the north of the city opened in 2018 in part of what had been an industrial building on the former Holmer Trading Estate.

It was the work of Lynn Stokes MBE of Taste for Adventure, previously based in Credenhill, which aims to make indoor climbing affordable and accessible to disadvantaged people.


But the award of planning permission for the centre, granted by Herefordshire’s planning committee against their officer’s recommendation in 2017, was set to expire in October 2022, “after which the approved use shall permanently cease”.

This was in order to allow for its use to be reassessed “in light of the overall site redevelopment to housing and other uses in five years’ time”, planning officer Fernando Barber-Martinez had said.

The redevelopment of much of the former industrial site as an estate of modular social housing was due to have completed by now, but stalled after the housing unit supplier Ilke Homes went bust last summer.

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Mrs Stokes’ current application (number 241506) says the six years in which Boulder Barn has operated from the premises “has been a successful trial period, demonstrating that the use co-exists satisfactorily with adjoining uses”.

Indeed the climbing centre “will improve residential amenity” of the future houses alongside, “as well as offering a recreational opportunity for prospective residents”, her application says.


Her original plan for the building drew over 30 messages of support at the time, with the only opposition coming from The Send, a short-lived rival climbing centre in Rotherwas.

Its director Nick Harms claimed then that “no town or city the size of Hereford can support two climbing facilities”. But shortly after The Send became Green Spider Climbing and remains in operation.

Comments on the latest planning application can be made via the council’s webpage until July 10.