Plans for 350 new homes, and a care home in the Three Elms area of Hereford are set to be resubmitted to Herefordshire Council, despite plenty of opposition from members of the public. Plans are set to be resubmitted, despite the cancellation of a planned Western Bypass of Hereford.

The Outline Planning Application for Three Elms North East Quarter was submitted in July 2022. In response to feedback from statutory and non statutory consultees, and Herefordshire Council some minor changes are proposed, resulting in updates to the parameter plans and illustrative masterplan.

Since 2022, a number of minor adjustments have been made to the development during the course of discussions with Herefordshire Council and other consultees. In January 2023 revised information was submitted and reconsulted upon.

In response to the request from Herefordshire Council, the scheme has been updated to include 1.6 acres of land to deliver a Care Home on the
site. It has been agreed with the Council that the location of the Care Home would come forward at reserved matters stage. The masterplan has not been updated to show a fixed location for the Care Home but the design has been tested and three options have been identified that could be appropriate for the care home use.

There are also plans to deliver a proposed pedestrian and cycle connection along Three Elms Road within the application boundary.

An outline planning application (reference P162920/F) was previously submitted to Herefordshire Council by the Applicants in September 2016, for up to 1,200 dwellings, 10 ha of employment land, a primary school, neighbourhood community hub, and associated open space, on 95.2 ha of land
within the Western Urban Expansion area, including the Site. This scheme is hereafter referred to as ‘the Larger Three Elms Scheme’ and the 95.2 ha site area as ‘the Larger Three Elms Site’.

The application for the Larger Three Elms Scheme currently remains undetermined by Herefordshire Council, pending confirmation of the future transport strategy for Hereford following cancellation of proposals for the Hereford Relief Road (also known as the ‘Western Bypass’), the route for which crossed the Larger Three Elms Site. Owing to the delay in determining this outline planning application for the Larger Three Elms Scheme, the Applicants submitted a separate application for the first phase of the Western Urban Expansion (the Development). This first phase is not dependent on the delivery of the western bypass and so can come forward ahead of any bypass or wider transport solution.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was undertaken to assess the environmental effects of the Development. The findings of the EIA were presented in an Environmental Statement (ES) (document reference: WIB14013-115-R-2-4-2, dated June 2022) hereafter referred to as the ‘2022 ES’) prepared by Waterman Infrastructure & Environment Limited (Waterman IE) with technical inputs from the wider consultant team. The 2022 ES was submitted with the outline planning application.

The planning application has remained in determination since July 2022, during which time discussions with Herefordshire Council and statutory and non-statutory consultees have taken place.

Through discussions with Herefordshire Council and other consultees, minor adjustments were also made to the Development (and subsequently the Parameter Plans) and reported within the January 2023 ES FIR. These changes included: a slight extension to the northern boundary of the Site to allow for sub-surface drainage connections; slight alterations to the residential building line to the immediate south of the Paddocks to allow the inclusion of a new drainage ditch; and inclusion of additional buffer planting to address Herefordshire Council’s Historic Building and
Landscape Officers’ comments. Changes were also made to the Illustrative Masterplan (not for approval) including the creation of larger attenuation ponds; and relocation of the play area in the western part of the Site. Finally, the Parameter Plans and Illustrative Masterplan were also updated to reflect a new alignment for a proposed footway / cycleway within the eastern part of the Site, parallel to Three Elms Road and adjacent (to the west of) the existing hedgerow which abuts the boundary of the Site.

Since submission of the January 2023 ES FIR, further discussion with Herefordshire Council and other consultees has taken place, resulting in the following changes to the Development and updates to assessment work:

  • Inclusion of a care home within the Development;
  • Confirmation of the agreed route option for the proposed footpath / cycleway parallel to Three Elms Road and minor adjustments to visibility splays adjacent to access points on Three Elms Road.
  • Updated baseline traffic data (including the extension of road links surveyed) and updated trip generation to reflect the inclusion of the care home, resulting in updates to the transport assessment presented in the existing EIA Documentation;
  • Updated air quality modelling to reflect the above updates to baseline traffic data and trip generation, and in response to comments from Herefordshire Council’s Environmental Health Officer (EHO); and Updated flood modelling and drainage strategy in response to comments from the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA).

You can find out more details about this planning application and consultation by visiting the Herefordshire Council Planning Application website, and searching for planning application reference number 222138.