A plan to rejig the layout around a historic Herefordshire pub, and install a milk vending machine by it, has been approved despite concerns over parking and the impact on the grade II listed building.

The Tarrington Arms on the A438 at Tarrington between Hereford and Ledbury changed hands last October following a local campaign to save it.

Its new owners sought permission in April to turn the garden and play area to the west of the pub into a 14-space car park along with a wooden shed to house the milk machine, accessible 24 hours a day.


A new garden area for customers would then replace the current car park behind the pub.

Tarrington Parish Council backed the plan but had “strong reservations” over the apparent net loss of parking spaces, which “will be detrimental to the viability of the public house business”.

Mark Haslam, local representative of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), a regular consultee on pub planning matters, shared this concern and called for more detail on the garden area – “also an important element of the pub’s amenity offer”.


The council’s building conservation officer said the plans, including “the materiality of the vending unit structure”, would “harm the setting” of the late 18th-century inn – a view shared by nearby resident David Coleman, who called the vending machine “wholly inappropriate”.

However there were six individual submissions of support. Village resident Hannah West said a beer garden set further back from the road would be “safer and more pleasant”, and welcomed “being able to buy milk in a village with no shop”.

And Rebecca Tully of Ledbury said the vending machine would “enable a local organic farm to increase their outlets”.

Planning officer Joshua Evans concluded that the plan would not adversely impact the wider landscape nor streetscape, would still provide sufficient parking provision, and represented an opportunity to support local business.

He made the prior submission of details of the proposed beer garden a condition of the planning approval.

Unheard of until recently, milk vending machines can now be found at several rural Herefordshire spots including at the Red Lion in Pembridge, Saffron’s Cross Garage in Bodenham, Merrivale Farm in Little Birch and Llangrove village hall, as well as in Bromyard, Ledbury, Leominster and Hereford.

They operate round the clock and some also sell other farm produce.