Concerns over safety of homes near Herefordshire building site

THERE are concerns over the stability of houses which overlook an “eyesore” building site in Bromyard.

Councillor Alan Seldon said work on the Old Road site had ceased again, and he thought it was unlikely workers would return.

The land has had planning permission for more than 15 years, but remains nothing more than a building site.

And the start-stop groundwork by different developers over that period has now lead Coun Seldon to raise his concerns about the structural safety of houses in Clover Terrace, which overlooks the site.

He told Bromyard and Winslow Town Council’s full meeting on March 29 that he was told work would restart on site before the end of the month, but that date has now passed.

OTHER NEWS:

Coun Seldon, who represents the Bromyard West ward, said he was making contingency plans, including looking into whether Herefordshire Council should serve a section 215 order.

The orders can be served by a local authority if the amenity of an area is badly affected by the condition of land or buildings.

And councils can bring legal proceedings against owners for not taking steps to remedy defects.

But Coun Seldon said this could be a “double-edged sword” as it reduces the value of a site, making it unappealing to future developers.

He said it was unacceptable that Old Road was partially blocked after a landslip, but if developers can’t fix the issue after a 215 order had been served, the cost would fall to Herefordshire Council.

RELATED NEWS:

Another option could be to make a compulsory purchase order of the site, but then Herefordshire Council would own land that might not be economically viable to development.

He said urgent action was needed to “shore up” the banks of Clover Terrace, as he was “not convinced” about its stability, adding he felt the site is an eyesore.

Plans were first approved for the site, 77 Old Road, in 2005 – but only land off Clover Terrace was built on.

A second application for six homes at 77 Old Road was then passed by council planners in 2014, but nothing has yet been built – only groundwork has taken place.

Hereford Times