A plan to install 28 more fishing platforms on the banks of the river Wye in Hereford appears to have run aground.

Herefordshire Council said it was required by law to conduct a habitat regulations assessment (HRA) of the proposal, by Hereford and District Angling Association (HDAA), given the sensitivity of the protected stretch of river.

It has now concluded that increasing the total number of platforms to 96 “in this short length of river” could damage the river and bank, “with larger effects beyond the existing erosion”.


The council officers said the “intensified fishing activity could result in an increase in fishing litter”, while more platforms would likely mean “more recreational disturbance including, but not limited to, swimming and boating”.

The Wye in Hereford showing a fishing platformThe Wye in Hereford showing a fishing platform (Image: LDRS)

They concluded that, given the plan’s likely “adverse effect” on the river, “planning permission CANNOT legally be granted”.

They added that any HRA would have to be shared with government agency Natural England before planning permission could be granted.

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But Natural England said it “concurs with the conclusion you [i.e. the council] have drawn”.

Herefordshire Council said its planning officer would “review the application and all the responses received, make a recommendation and liaise with the applicants or their agent as appropriate”.

An HTAA spokesperson said: “We are still working with Natural England on our application and hope for a positive way forward later this month.”


The Wye “special area of conservation” (SAC) covers more than 2,200 hectares along the course of the river through Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire and Powys.

It hosts seven protected species of fish, including Atlantic salmon, as well as otters and crayfish. But it has recently been given a conservation rating of “unfavourable: declining”.

The Hereford stretch of the river in particular is also a national hotspot for coarse fishing in winter, and the anglers' proposal has the backing of around 60 members of the public.