HCLT Projects In Development

The Barton Road Development

Site In Barton Road

Barton Road, Hereford


This is a small site that the council have been seeking for some twelve years to dispose of and see used for affordable housing.

Barton Road Site Layout Plan
Barton Road Site

Barton Road Site Layout Plan & Location

At the end of June 2022 we finally had a response to our pre planning application for 4 one-bedroomed flats built to high environmental standards. The advice given included the following:

a) The scheme is broadly acceptable: ‘… the type of housing proposed, being small one-bed, two-person units to meet identified local needs, is welcomed; and the sustainable location of the site, within the city and within easy reach of a wide range of facilities and services, would weigh in favour of the grant of planning permission.’

b) A no car scheme would seem to be acceptable, though we will need to investigate the provision of a small layby to enable delivery/service vehicles to stop off the carriageway. Whilst the location of the site on has double yellow lines along both sides and any vehicle stopping at this location to drop off a delivery at the flats could potentially cause a road safety concern, either by mounting the footway or stopping on the road with vehicles trying to go around the vehicle and potentially coming into conflict with oncoming vehicles. However, provision of layby on such a bend could only encourage vehicles needing to get close to other properties in the vicinity to also stop there, so increasing hazards. This is a key aspect of the site we will need to assess using a transport engineer.

c) Modern design is acceptable (the site is next to a listed building and in a conservation area), with some caveats.

d) We would seem to need to do further work on the loss of the open space, which is said to be a key constraint. Unfortunately part of the pre planning application that we prepared regarding the open space was not passed on to planners.

Having received the advice we asked if the council would agree to an asset transfer. In October 2022 we were surprised to hear that the Council needed to have the land valued (having offered it to housing associations for £1 a good 10 years previously). The Housing department had to pay the Property department £500 for this service. At the end of October we heard that the figure that Property came up with was ‘eye-watering’, but not to worry. By 20th January 2023 Housing had managed to negotiate Property back down to a £1 nominal price (so 3 months to go round that particular circle).

We then asked if we could put a contract in place for the purchase of the site for £1, subject to us gaining full planning permission and with a commitment to start on site within a set time beyond the granting of planning permission. This involved further internal council discussions and when we asked if we could try and have the contract in place before the May elections, in case of any change in political control, we were told not to worry. Lo and behold, with the change in political control the question of the asset transfer now has to go before the new council.

We hope to hear an update by the end of 2023, meanwhile the project is again on hold.