THE rumble of passing trains might have kept nurses awake in flats planned for city wasteland.

They will never know because a planning application for homes by Hereford mayor, Alan Williams, was refused by Herefordshire Council planners last week.

Councillor Williams had planned to set aside nine flats in a 23-property development for lease to Herefordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

But planning officers said the proposed spot, disused land north of Ledbury Road, was not satisfactory for some of the homes because of the 'proximity and visual appearance of the adjacent railway embankment and the aural effect of passing trains', nine metres away.

They said other homes close to Eign Brook would prevent access to the stream and risked flooding. Eign Brook may also be home to otters. A resubmitted application would have to include a wildlife survey.

"The proposal fails by virtue of the inadequacies of the layout and the resulting unsatisfactory living environment for occupiers of the houses," said planners.