A Herefordshire fruit farmer’s bid to build three houses has been rejected by a government-appointed inspector.
Man of Ross fruit farm managing director Andrew Jackson had sought so-called “permission in principle” to build the bungalows on a field by Glewstone, west of Ross-on-Wye.
Herefordshire Council ruled in June last year that the plan would harm the appearance of the neighbourhood and the wider Wye Valley area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in which the village lies.
Mr Jackson appealed against the refusal, but this has now been dismissed by planning inspector H Smith.
Given the rectangular site is around two metres higher than the adjacent road, even single-storey buildings on it “would be prominent when viewed from the highway and the neighbouring dwellings”, the inspector said.
Creating new road access “would involve the loss of hedgerow, and would introduce hard, urban elements at odds with the soft appearance of the site”, while the “incongruous” development would also “bear no relation to the existing built-up area” of the village, the inspector decided.
However its impact would be “localised”, with the site’s sloping topography meaning it “would not appear unduly prominent in wider views”, they said. “As such, the landscape and scenic beauty of the AONB would be conserved.”
But this, and the contribution the homes would make to the local housing supply, did “not outweigh the harm identified to the character and appearance of the area”, the inspector concluded.
They noted that while local residents have raised other concerns over the plan relating to traffic, drainage and wildlife, these were not in dispute between the farmer and the council. And as the appeal was being dismissed anyway, “I do not need to give these matters further consideration”.
A bid by a different developer to build five houses on the other side of the same road in the village was refused last month.