A 250-home extension to a Herefordshire town has finally been approved, despite concerns it would put children at risk on a busy adjoining main road.

Herefordshire Council planners had put forward a late condition on Vistry’s outline plan for a 250-home development at Hardwick Bank west of Bromyard, before councillors gave it the go-ahead this morning (January 17), eight years after it was first put forward.

The condition called for the developer to improve the pavement along the A44 between Upper Hardwick Lane and Winslow Road in anticipation of it being used by children from the new development getting to and from the Queen Elizabeth high school.


This proved to be the main point of contention before the council’s planning subcommittee could reach a decision.

Coun Roger Page, vice chair of the Bromyard town council’s planning and development committee, said the town council had changed its view several times as the proposal had evolved. But the new requirement “causes us to oppose it again”, adding he felt the town council was being “treated with disdain” on this.

Prof Mark Whitehorn said his sole reason to oppose the plan was the footway requirement, which “encourages people to walk along a too-narrow stretch of the A44”.

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Planning officer Kelly Gibbons responded that the pavement requirement was added “only after careful consideration”, while highways officer Katy Jones said a wider pavement “can be fitted in”, adding that residents “will walk down it anyway, so we want it made as safe as possible”.

Committee chair Coun Terry James said they were “damned if we do, damned if we don’t” press for the improvement, asking: “Which is safer?”

Local ward and town councillor Clare Davies said the footpath “should be discouraged”.

“It is over 10 years since the town council pushed for this,” she said, noting that in the meantime, other schemes for Bromyard have not been developed or, like the Flaggoner’s Field proposal on the other side of the A44, refused late last year on access grounds.

The proposal for outline permission was passed with one abstention.