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Ecological concern over the 350 house development adjacent to Lugg Meadows

By Angharad
10th May 2024

Proposal to build a large housing estate in Herefordshire has attracted 1000+ public objections, including ours…

Plans to construct a new residential estate comprising of 350 new homes, shop, café, workspaces and land for a potential primary school, has ignited fierce opposition.  The proposed development (planning reference P240422/F) spans 25 hectares (61 acres) of farmland and is situated south of the A438 Ledbury Road.  It lies nestled between the eastern periphery of Hereford and the cherished Lugg Meadows nature reserve.


Our PLAN team response:  

The aim of our charity is to protect the beauty, diversity and tranquillity of the countryside.  As it states in our objection letter (available here) the Upper and Lower Lugg Meadows are unique in Herefordshire.  Not just for their size, but also because they are extant survivors of a land tenure and farming economy that has since disappeared. They are part of our national and county heritage which date back to the Domesday Book and at least Roman times. A large housing estate on the edge of these meadows will generate noise, vehicle emissions, artificial lights at night, roaming domestic pets such as dogs and cats all of which will disturb a hitherto relatively quiet and safe environment for ground-nesting birds, as well as increasing air pollution.  It is notable that the whole area has been under water for a long period this winter and spring; that, alone, demonstrates its unsuitability for the proposed development.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has voiced apprehension, contending that the development would inflict “irreversible damage to the protected and nationally important biodiversity” of the SSSI. Stephen Watkins, a local wildlife surveyor, echoed these sentiments, warning that any harm to the meadows “will cause the curlew to leave, and if that happens, I think we will see the end of curlews in the county”.

Objections has also been raised by government advisory body Active Travel England. They assert that the proposed scheme fails to “enable, encourage and embed active travel”.  They are urging for the incorporation of initiatives to promote walking and cycling to central Hereford and its surroundings.

Moreover, Welsh Water has sounded the alarm regarding the strain on local resources.  They emphasis that the current fresh water supply lacks the capacity to adequately serve the proposed development. This shortfall could have repercussions, with existing households facing potential disruptions. They caution that the existing sewerage infrastructure is ill-equipped to accommodate the influx of residents, thereby posing risks to both current customers and the surrounding environment.

Reaching a decision:

Savills, acting as the representative for the developer STL Group, has expressed a commitment to diligently assess all submitted representations. They stated, “We will now carefully consider all of the representations submitted and where there are opportunities to make changes which will address the objections and positively improve the proposals we will do so.”

Herefordshire Council aim to give their decision on the 11th June.  We hope the Council refuse this completely unsuitable development which threatens our treasured Lugg Meadows, a site of special scientific interest and as such should be protected for all time.

What you can do:

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Sources: BBCHereford Time | Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Lugg Meadows Herefordshire
Lugg Meadows Herefordshire A Clarke