A plan to build 350 new houses on a sensitive spot on the edge of Hereford has drawn a record number of protests from concerned residents.

Over 500 objections – an unprecedented number for the county in recent years – have been formally lodged against the planning application by STL Group to build on 25 hectares of farmland south of the A438 Ledbury Road, next to the Lugg Meadows nature reserve.

Following a meeting called to debate the bid, Bartestree with Lugwardine Parish Council, in whose parish the planned development would sit, said its objections included lack of accompanying improvements to highways, health and other public services, and lack of “smaller” starter homes in the scheme “to retain the youth within Herefordshire”.


Meanwhile existing attenuation (stormwater-holding) ponds in the flood plain, and land earmarked for more of these, “have been full and overflowing all winter, so will clearly not cope with additional water when the hillside above is covered with 350 new dwellings”, it said.

Hereford Civic Society also objected that the estate, on land sloping down from the current city edge, would harm the rural setting of the meadows, protected as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).


A previous planning bid to build just a single house at Walney Lane north of the A438 had previously been refused, and rejected at a planning appeal, on this grounds, the society pointed out.

“The impact from the construction of the proposed 350 dwellings will be considerably greater than that of a single dwelling,” they said.

Herefordshire Council’s decision on whether the scheme can go ahead is due in June.

What is ‘Lammas land’?

Lugg Meadows are a “rare, ancient” example of Lammas land, according to Bartestree with Lugwardine Parish Council.

Here the landowner allows grass or other crop to be grown from Candlemas (February 2), until Lammas (August 1) – two of the four traditional “quarter days” in the church year.

Then from Lammas until the following Candlemas, those with rights to do so can let their livestock, including geese, graze the unfenced land.

“These are ancient traditions that go back to medieval times, so it is very important that the land is protected from contamination by a large, neighbouring housing development,” the council said.