Historic England (HE, formerly English Heritage) for the second time, are recommending refusal or deferral of the Council’s application to build a link road in South Hereford, across the open countryside of Grafton and Merryhill. Their Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments writes that Historic England is not sure that the relative weight afforded to the historic environment is robust enough to allow demonstrable compliance with National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Section 12 (Conserving And Enhancing The Historic Environment).
Historic England writes that the assessment undertaken by Herefordshire Council’s consultants regarding the setting of Haywood Lodge (under threat from the scheme) DOES NOT INCLUDE SUFFICIENT RESEARCH to describe its development over time. They go on to say that “When considering impact Herefordshire Council is required to give “great weight” to the conservation of Haywood Lodge, one of very few houses of this quality and importance in Herefordshire. Any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification.” (NPPF para 132).
Herefordshire Council were advised by their own officer in August 2015 that “Harm to the setting of Haywood Lodge has been identified yet the mitigation proposed is minimal and the road particularly prominent at that point being raised on an embankment. Noise and light pollution from the road has barely been considered in terms of impact on the experience of the historic assets.” They recommended that further work was required to comply with the NPPF paras 132-136.
Despite these comments the Council and its consultants have not been able to make the changes necessary to comply with National Planning Policies as the fundamental problem is that the Southern Link Road is hugely damaging to the historic environment of South Wye. The full letter of objection from Historic England can be viewed here ( SLR – Historic England Objection Oct 2015 )
If you would like to respond to the planning application for the Southern Link Road:-
1.write to Ms Kelly Gibbons, Planning Dept, PO Box 230, Blueschool House, Blueschool Street, Hereford. HR1 2ZB. (Tel 01432 261781).
2. Or email her at email@example.com
3. Copy in your ward councillor (contact details can be found here )
In any correspondence include the planning application reference given at the top of this page P151314/F. Deadline for comments is now 5th November.