A SCHEME pitching community facilities and homes in a county village was refused as councillors condemned the lack of affordable housing included.

West Register (Realisation) Ltd wanted outline permission for up to 25 homes, three offices, a village hall and children’s day-care centre at the former Old Sawmills in Eardisley.

However, despite initial support from local residents, Herefordshire Council’s planning committee heard changes had been made to the application which now did not comply with the village’s adopted neighbourhood plan, or the council’s Core Strategy.

Specifically, there was no allocation of affordable housing and no section 106 contribution because, the committee heard, it was not ‘economically viable’ for the developer.

A spokesman at the meeting from Eardisley Parish Council, said: “Affordable homes and two-bed homes are essential towards attracting first-time buyers.

"We will be sending a clear message [if the scheme was approved] that neighbourhood plans or the Core Strategy wouldn’t be supported by this council and a clear message to any property company they can buy land and do what they like with it.”

Members of Herefordshire Council’s planning committee felt the community should be supported.

Councillor Terry James said: “We have a parish council, a community who initially supported the principle and who are now opposed to it.

“We make much of the fact we should listen to the community and yet we are tending to ignore them on this particular issue.”