ENFORCEMENT action could be on the way after fears were raised over the state of historic buildings, including a decrepit former hotel in a prominent town centre spot.

A meeting of Bromyard Town Council's planning committee previously heard from a local resident that they had concerns about the deterioration of Bromyard's Tower Hill House, Hop Pole Hotel, old magistrates court, and old police station.

Tower Hill House is a stunning black and white building dating back to 1630, and holds a grade II* listing, while the old magistrates court and police station in Church Street is not listed.


The grade II listed Hop Pole, which dominates the town's Market Square, is owned by millionaire businessman Alfie Best, and has been empty for some years.

Planning permission was granted with conditions in February 2023 for a variety of alterations to be carried out at the hotel, but work does not appear to have started in any major way at the hotel, which is externally visibly deteriorating.

Ledbury Reporter: A healthy-looking buddleia could be seen growing out of the side of the hotel in DecemberA healthy-looking buddleia could be seen growing out of the side of the hotel in December (Image: Charlotte Moreau)

Minutes from the December meeting of the committee said that the council has no legal powers of enforcement to ensure the "failing" Hop Pole and old magistrates court buildings are maintained by their owners, and resolved to invite the historic buildings officer to a meeting in Bromyard to discuss the council's concerns.

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A meeting of full council that month resolved that a letter would be sent to Herefordshire Council planning enforcement department regarding the ongoing deterioration of the buildings and to seek an update on action taken by the authority since s215 notices were served.

According to Herefordshire Council, Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act can be used to serve a notice to require the proper maintenance of land if its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area.

In a new update, minutes from the council's February meeting of the planning and economic development committee said Herefordshire Council's principal building conservation officer had acknowledged the town council's concerns and agreed to forward the letter to a more senior colleague in the Built Heritage Team department at Herefordshire Council.