Residents of a rural Herefordshire parish fear the number of large lorries going to and from a local farm along the area’s narrow lanes could be about to get worse.

A S Green of Rook Row Farm, Mathon near the Worcestershire border, is currently seeking confirmation that the change of use of its vegetable packhouse to “a general industrial and storage or distribution” rather than agricultural use, took place over ten years ago and is therefore immune from planning enforcement.

But locals at a Mathon parish council planning meeting to discuss the bid said they feared that this could open the door to more lorries from overseas and elsewhere in the UK bringing vegetables in and out of the site.


Antonia Musgrove said that these are already “trashing the lanes, which have atrocious potholes, and mangling the verges”.

She claimed that for the farm to now say the packhouse is industrial rather than agricultural “flies in the face” of their 2002 application to build it, when as a farm building it had not required full planning permission.

Ledbury Reporter: Road sign near Rookrow FarmRoad sign near Rookrow Farm (Image: LDRS)

Husband Tim Musgrove claimed the packhouse “is not yet at full capacity”, and that, if the planning bid were granted, “they could use it 27/7, 365 days a week, without the council having any control over it”.

Richard Thomas claimed local drivers “have been driven off the road” by the lorries, which have damaged vehicles and properties, while Wendy Bulmer said she had been “threatened and told to f- off” by drivers.

Ledbury Reporter: Another Spanish lorry on a Mathon laneAnother Spanish lorry on a Mathon lane (Image: supplied)

The farm was not represented at the meeting, and declined to comment afterwards.

According to its website, “In 2017, we made the decision to become a year-round supplier rather than solely a seasonal one.


“To achieve this, we expanded our network to include suppliers in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.”

But its planning submission argues that processing and distribution of “significant amounts of produce not grown on AS Green’s agricultural holding” predates this, putting its non-agricultural use back more than ten years.

Local MP Sir Bill Wiggin said that having been contacted by both sides, “I have written to Herefordshire Council to try to ensure officers act fairly and efficiently” on the case.