A Herefordshire fruit farmer has been told his plan for three new houses cannot go ahead as it would harm its rural surroundings.

Man of Ross fruit farm managing director Andrew Jackson had sought so-called “permission in principle” to build the houses on a field by Glewstone, west of Ross-on-Wye.

If approved, technical details would have followed in a separate application.

But Herefordshire Council has now ruled the plan would “unduly harm the landscape and scenic beauty” of the Wye Valley area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in which the farm lies.

On a side of the main road made up of fields and mature hedgerows, the proposal would “not reflect the existing form of the settlement” of Broadmead, one of the three “clusters” which make up the village, an officer’s report said.

On land higher than the road and existing houses, the three “would completely alter the character and settlement pattern of the area”, it added.

Welsh Water also said the houses would be in an area that already has water supply problems, “for which no improvements are planned”, affecting supply to existing and future customers.

The plan also drew five objections from residents.