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Top 3 planning applications our PLAN team are objecting to...

Close up of blueprint of building plans

CPRE Herefordshire’s PLAN team are a dedicated group of volunteers who work tirelessly to protect the Herefordshire countryside from unsuitable and damaging developments. Below are the top three planning applications they are campaigning against currently.  You can see how vital their work is to protect our countryside here:

1 – Industrial scale anaerobic digester at Whitwick Manor, Lower Eggleton HR8 2UE

Whitwick manor map
Google map showing location of Whitwick Manor in relation to Hereford | Google Maps

What is an anaerobic digester you may ask!?!  Well, an anaerobic digester (AD) uses a natural process where plant and animal waste is broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of air.  Methane is produced which can be used to generate heat and power and the remaining material can be used as a fertiliser.  In some instances a good idea, but at the right place and at the right scale.  This is a huge industrial plant occupying 2.42ha (3 football pitches) on Grade 2 agricultural land, with 14 huge ADs and other buildings all over 15m high. Completely unacceptable in open countryside, in the Wye catchment area, and in breach of national and local planning policies.

Proposed anaerobic digestion plant
A computer visualisation of the massive digester complex – spot the tiny lorries! CGI by Chris MacDonald Visualisation | Chris MacDonald
A summary of our objections:
  • The proposed ground needed is vast.  It would cover an area the size of 27 football pitches and there is no proof that the so far untested proposed processing of poultry manure will be successful. The Wye catchment should not be used for a large experimental industrial plant.
  • Development includes several massive storage buildings each over 16m high.
  • The application gives no detail of how they would stop nutrient discharge in the River Wye catchment and surrounding countryside.  
  • Poultry manure and other deliveries will need 26,203 two-way deliveries p.a. in HGVs, LGVs tractors, many driving through Hereford, Leominster and along the county’s narrow lanes.  Transporting manure results in emissions of odour, ammonia, carbon, nitrates and particulates that are harmful to human health and the natural environment. 
  • Air quality is already poor and ammonia limits exceeded in this area.  Ammonia is smelly and toxic to human health, causing cancer and other diseases.  AD plants produce a lot of ammonia.
  • It is an unsustainable development, with only 4 new jobs, and designed to deal with only 1/3 rd of the county’s poultry manure. It is not a solution for the county’s longstanding problems of the massive amount of manure produced that is polluting our rivers.

We commissioned a report by Carly Tinkler, a well regarded Environmental and landscape consultant, and her conclusion confirmed our opinion (if you would like to view the whole report please contact us for a copy).  Hereford council is currently undecided.  Now is a great time to voice your concerns to the Hereford planning department and time is running out. Please email case officer Rebecca Jenman ( quoting application ref: P222728/N.  If you would like to help us stop this please email us –

2 – Retrospective planning application for 6.5 hectares of poly tunnels at Haygrove Growing Site, Mahollam Road, Huntington, Kington HR5 3PU

Google map showing location of Mahollam Road in relation to Hereford
Google map showing location of Mahollam Road in relation to Hereford | Google Maps

Poly tunnels help increase the yield of soft fruit that can be grown.  We understand the benefit of this and the need for poly tunnels, but at the right scale and in the right place.  We believe if this development is allowed to proceed it will negatively affect the local area as follows:

  • This large scale development of poly tunnels will damage the beauty and tranquillity of the landscape in a much-valued tourist area with the cumulative effect of so many more polytunnels, the caravans and the infrastructure. 
  • Damage will also be done to the incomes of several local businesses reliant on tourism.  As well as further damage to the existing countryside; it is our understanding initial work for an access road was started before a planning application was submitted.
  • The adverse effect of the visibility of the site from Hergest Ridge, the Hereford Trail, Dysgwylfa Hill, Brilley, Birches Farm and the proximity to the two Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
  • Potentially polluting effects on the River Arrow and Gladestry Brook from run-off.
  • Extraction of water from the brook and sewage from the on-site caravans.
  • The huge increase in the population with the seasonal agricultural workers with 11 more caravans/mobile homes there in addition to the 7 already there (without planning permission). The consequent noise and light pollution impacting on this tiny rural settlement, and the difficulties of safely dealing with sewerage and waste water from 100+ seasonal workers.
  • Inadequate road network – narrow lanes – are unlikely to have the capacity for heavier traffic due to this development.
  • Use of unnecessary, environmentally unfriendly material, i.e. more polythene.
  • Contravention of several key planning Policies, e.g. Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy LD1, SS1, and MT1 and NPPF Policies 6, 15 and 16.
Poly tunnel example
Example of poly tunnels | Unsplash

Have your say and let the Herefordshire planning department know of your concerns over this development. Please email case officer Adam Lewis ( quoting application ref: P221321/F.  If you would like to help us stop this please email us –

3 – Housing development of 70 homes, workspace and a childcare facility near Kilpeck

Google map showing approx location of development
Google map showing approx location of development | Google Maps

Housing is desperately needed in Britain, we can all agree to that, but we need to make sure that housing developments are at the right scale and in the right place.   We have several objections to this proposed development in the middle of our countryside, as outlined below:

  • This would be a large housing development on agricultural land in open countryside. Herefordshire Council refused a previous application on the same site because of its size.
  • Wormbridge is a small settlement with 99 residents at the last census. The whole parish of Kilpeck is only required, in the Herefordshire Core Strategy, to build 23 houses rather than 70.
  • Most residents of working age will need to travel elsewhere, as will anyone needing to get to shops, services, schools etc.
  • The proposed plan shows all the housing on one side of the busy A465 and the community buildings on the opposite side. So all residents will need to cross the dangerous road to use the amenities; this was another reason for the earlier refusal.
  • This application proposes major changes in construction to the road, with several signed crossings and a central refuge island.  These would seriously disrupting the flow of traffic on the A465 and be expensive to install and maintain.

Please email case officer Chloe Smart ( with your concerns quoting application ref: P230357/O.  If you would like to help us stop this please email us –


In summary:

We hope this gives you a better idea of how we are working hard to protect the Herefordshire countryside.  Click here for our guidance on influencing a planning application.  If you need further assistance email our planning team –

We are currently looking for volunteers to assist our PLAN team.  Ideally you will be a planning consultant, retired council planning officer or student studying planning who would like to dedicate some of your time to help us protect the beautiful Herefordshire landscape.  If you are interested please send an email to with your details and we’ll be happy to get in touch.