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    Lugg Meadows Nature Reserve under threat from huge new development

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Herefordshire Wildlife Trust is submitting an objection to the planning application for the development of land East of Hereford (Planning reference P240422/F) which borders the Lugg Meadows Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and ecologically important floodplain meadow.

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    Herefordshire Wildlife Trust : Lugg Meadows Hereford  

    The application details the erection of up to 350 dwellings, a farm shop and café, employment workspaces, and land for a potential primary school, along with associated parking and access roads.

    The Trust’s primary concern is that there would be a greatly increased number of people visiting the Lugg Meadows, an increased number of dogs and cats, noise, light pollution and traffic. This is likely to have a significant impact on the flora and fauna of the meadows. In particular, the increased disturbance would impact the breeding curlew, which are already threatened with local extinction and the subject of a conservation project at the site.

    SSSI status is the greatest protection a habitat can have in the UK and should mean it is preserved in perpetuity. Floodplain meadows have become incredibly rare with only around 1,200 hectares of this habitat remaining in the UK. They fulfil natural functions of flood management, pollution reduction and carbon sequestration alongside the provision of fantastic, specialised, wildlife habitat. This habitat is also included in Herefordshire’s Biodiversity Action Plan as one that conservation groups have identified as particularly under threat in the county and in need of preservation. The nature reserve is home to many rare species of plants and animal including the snake’s head fritillary and a small population of breeding curlew.

    Herefordshire Wildlife Trust are currently running a project to recover rare floodplain plants on Lugg Meadows. Funded by Natural England (NE) through its flagship Species Recovery Programme (SRP), the project aims to recover populations of narrow-leaved water-dropwort and mousetail - through habitat enhancement and sowing and planting at the meadows which lie within the River Wye Catchment.

    The Trust also has concerns about the impact on the River Lugg, designated a Special Area of Conservation, already under huge pressure from pollution and described by Natural England as “unfavourable/declining.” The proposals do not guarantee that run-off from the development (which may include a wide range of pollutants e.g. oils, phosphates from car washings, paints, bleach) cannot enter the Lugg Rhea and, from there, the meadows and the River Lugg.

    Much of Lugg Meadows is owned by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust with some areas also owned by the charity Plantlife.

    Sarah King, Nature Recovery Manager at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust says:

    “Lugg Meadows Nature Reserve are an absolute jewel of Herefordshire’s natural history. It is nationally significant for its rare species such as the beautiful snake’s-head fritillary and one of very few traditionally managed, ecologically rich floodplain meadows in the UK. It is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the highest protection a site can have and it is imperative that it is protected as it should be.

    “To have such a site so close to the City is a real treat for residents and visitors. However, being close to urban areas brings a lot of pressure from high numbers of visitors and dog walkers. To date, we have just about managed to balance the visitor access with conservation of wildlife but having a major new residential area right alongside the site will be devastating for the sensitive plants, birds and animals that call the nature reserve home.”

    Jenny Hawley, Plantlife Policy Manager, said:

    “Plantlife is deeply concerned about development proposals on land east of Hereford due to the high risk of unacceptable impacts on Lugg Meadow Nature Reserve next to the site.

    “This Plantlife nature reserve is a legally-protected Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a fragile ecosystem and nationally-scarce plant species including Narrow-leaved Water-dropwort (Oenanthe silaifolia). It is also one of the few ancient Lammas floodplain meadows remaining in England, adjacent to the River Lugg and part of the wider River Wye catchment.

    “The proposed 350-home development would risk irreversible damage to this precious, sensitive ecosystem through increased water pollution, noise and light pollution, road traffic and footfall from visitors.”

    More details on the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Website HERE

     


    Former SAS Soldier Peter McAleese Has Died Aged 81.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    SAS hero soldier turned mercenary Peter McAleese was once recruited to assassinate Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

    McAleeseured_as_a_young_soldier_in_the_1960s.thumb.jpg.b52247a7dfc73a86ab69ec704615c2bd.jpg
    Photo courtesy of Peter McAlesse Facebook.

    Peter McAleese was a Scottish former soldier and mercenary. He served in the British Army's Parachute Regiment and Special Air Service, the Rhodesian Special Air Service and British South Africa Police, and South Africa's 44 Parachute Brigade.

    Special forces hardman, Peter McAleese led a crack team of rogue black ops troops during a deadly mission to kill the notorious cartel chief in 1989.

    Once he left Britain's famed SAS, he was offered a staggering $1million to deliver Escobar's head.

    However, the attempt to raid Escobar's fortress estate failed spectacularly when his helicopter crashed over the Andes, killing the pilot and leaving McAleese critically injured on the mountaintop for three days before being rescued, back in 1989.

    In later life Peter became an author publishing 2 books "No Mean Soldier" and "McAleese's Fighting Manual"

    His death was announced last night on his official social media accounts Peter McAleese with the following statement;

    "𝙄𝙩’𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙩𝙮 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙄 𝙧𝙚𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙞𝙣𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙤𝙣 𝙈𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙮 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙤𝙤𝙣 𝙋𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙈𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙨𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙩𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙙𝙪𝙩𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙤𝙛𝙛 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙞𝙜 𝙧𝙚𝙤𝙧𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙠𝙮. 𝙄’𝙢 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙄 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙠 𝙤𝙣 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙛 𝙤𝙛 𝙢𝙖𝙮 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙄 𝙨𝙖𝙮 𝙋𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙧 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙮 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖 𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙩𝙨, 𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙋𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙙𝙞𝙙𝙣’𝙩 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝙡𝙚𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙙, 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙖𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙟𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙡𝙚𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙮, 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙚 𝙄’𝙢 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙝𝙞𝙢 𝙢𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙. 𝙎𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙪𝙙𝙙𝙮, 𝙠𝙚𝙚𝙥 𝙨𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙙𝙖𝙮 𝙅𝙤𝙚"


    𝗠𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶-𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻-𝗽𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗹𝗮𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗥𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗪𝘆𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗲𝗱𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗰𝗵𝗶cken producers

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    A legal claim potentially worth hundreds of millions of pounds has been launched by law firm Leigh Day in a bid to compensate thousands of people living in the Wye catchment likely to have been affected by a major degradation of the River Wye and its tributaries in recent years.

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    Photo of flowering ranunculus weed bed (credit Phil Wilson)

    The claim will be brought against Avara Foods Limited, one of the UK’s biggest food producers, alleging that industrial scale chicken farming in the River Wye catchment area is polluting the River Wye and surrounding land. Evidence shows the operations of Avara Foods to supply UK supermarkets has been the overwhelming cause of phosphorous pollution which is damaging the River Wye, says Leigh Day.

    Photooffloweringranunculusweedbed(creditPhilWilson)4.thumb.jpeg.0e042b327e06223f2982e4198e1113b3.jpeg Photooffloweringranunculusweedbed(creditPhilWilson)2.thumb.jpeg.934c6c2e314e78534643cfaf67d6e8ff.jpeg
    Photos of flowering ranunculus weed bed (credit Phil Wilson) 

    Avara has said that it will cease polluting the river in the future. However, Leigh Day will argue that Avara Foods is responsible for the damage that has already been caused and should clean up the River Wye and the surrounding land, as well as pay hundreds of millions of pounds to people and businesses whose lives, livelihoods and enjoyment of the area has been impacted because of the effects of pollution. The legal claim will also look to prevent Avara Foods from polluting the river further if the company doesn’t carry out its pledge.

    People who can join the legal claim will have a claim alleging private and public nuisance. They will live in a 4,000 sq km area in Powys, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire.

    𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲:

    ▪️ People whose land and property surrounds the River Wye – potentially thousands of claimants

    ▪️People who belong to the community surrounding the Wye – potentially tens of thousands of claimants

    The claimants will include people affected by the pollution such as swimmers, canoeists, walkers, clubs, organisations, anglers and businesses whose lives and trade has been hit by the worsening condition of the river, or the nuisance effects on those living near chicken farming, such as smells, insects and noise. The businesses affected will include those working in tourism, hospitality and leisure.

    The River Wye has been at the forefront of a major expansion of the chicken industry in the UK. Between 2013 and 2017 the number of birds in Herefordshire rose by one-third and researchers estimate the area now houses 23 million or more birds at any one time, generally concentrated in very large poultry units. The largest poultry processor is Avara, which is reportedly responsible for 80% of the birds in the River Wye catchment area. It is believed that a significant factor in the increase in poultry production in the region after 2018 was in order to meet the chicken meat demands of Tesco, a customer of Avara Foods.

    High intensity farming, such as that required by the large-scale operations of Avara Foods, has affected the water quality of the River Wye to which landowners and others have a right under common law, the legal claim will say. Some people living in the area have reported sickness after swimming, and last year the river was downgraded to “unfavourable – declining” status by the government nature watchdog Natural England. This is only two stages away from the River Wye being listed as “destroyed”.

    The claim will allege that the scale of the operations of large corporate poultry producers is generating significant quantities of phosphorous-rich manure which leach into the soil and into the river. This is raising phosphorous levels in the water which cause algal blooms which result in odour, insect swarms, biodiversity loss and water quality reduction.

    Avara Foods is a UK subsidiary of US multinational Cargill Plc which has faced similar claims in the US as a result of polluting the Illinois River due to the same practice of high intensive poultry farming. In 2023, the Oklahoma Court ruled that Cargill Inc polluted the Illinois River by spreading chicken manure on land so that it then leached into the river’s watercourse. The judge in that case found that Cargill knew or should have known that using poultry waste as fertilizer posed a risk to waterways, and the UK claimants will similarly allege that Cargill Plc and Avara Foods knew that the outcome of intensive poultry farming would cause the pollution of the River Wye but continued with their operations anyway.

    Avara Foods says it is committed to playing its part in the restoration of the River Wye “by taking accountability for the poultry manure that originates from it supply chain . . . but reversing the decline of the river is beyond the means of any single organisation”.

    The civil claim is being handled by a team led by Leigh Day partner Oliver Holland.

    Leigh Day partner Oliver Holland said:

    “We consider that the significant decline in the health of the River Wye over the last few years is clearly linked to the significant increase in intensive poultry farming in the main brought about by Avara Foods. The lives and livelihoods of those living in the River Wye area are being significantly impacted only to the benefit of Avara Foods, a subsidiary of US multinational Cargill Plc. This destruction of one the UK’s most beautiful natural areas cannot continue, which is why we are bringing this legal action.”

    The claim is supported by charity River Action. Chair and founder Charles Watson said:

    “With around a quarter of the country’s chickens now being reared in the catchment of the River Wye, the waste emitting from this totally unsustainable concentration of poultry production has blighted communities across the region.

    “With a huge percentage of this industry controlled by Avara, it is entirely appropriate that the polluter must now be made to pay to clean up the mess we believe it has created and subsequently profited from. We therefore applaud this action being taken by Leigh Day to seek recompense for the pollution of this magnificent river.”

    Anyone who thinks they have a claim against Avara Foods because of nuisance they have suffered because of the impact of chicken farming in the Wye Valley, can get in touch with the River Wye claim legal team at Leigh Day by contacting riverwyepollution@leighday.co.uk

    Legal basis for the claim

    𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝘀𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗻𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁:

    ▪️ Avara has a duty not to impact the reasonable use/enjoyment of neighbours’ land by conducting activity beyond reasonable land use

    ▪️The pollution of the river; and odour and insect pollution caused by the intensive poultry units (IPU) breaches that duty

    ▪️By controlling the IPUs, Avara has exercised sufficient control over the nuisance to be liable for the nuisance caused by them

    ▪️The impact of the scale of intensive poultry farming required by Avara Foods’ regional operations on the river and the local community was entirely foreseeable, particularly given the successful liability claim against Avara Foods’ ultimate parent company Cargill, Inc. for the poultry farming pollution of the US river Illinois

    ▪️Property owners bordering the river (including those with rights to the riverbank and angling/fishing rights) are entitled to recover the loss they have suffered, including damages for loss of amenity and fall in property value. They can also seek remedial action e.g. cleaning up of the river.

    ▪️Property owners bordering intensive poultry farming units are entitled to recover the loss they have suffered, including damages for loss of amenity from odour and insects and fall in property value. They can also seek remedial action e.g. cleaning up of the river.

    ▪️Businesses owning affected property which have suffered financial losses are also entitled to be compensated.

    𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝘀𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗻𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁:

    ▪️Avara Foods has a duty not to impact the life, health, safety and/or comfort of the public

    ▪️It has breached this duty by polluting the river

    ▪️Those who have suffered a particular damage over and above the general public are entitled to be compensated, including for financial losses of a local business and loss of amenity. Remedial action can also be sought.

    𝗦𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗘𝗻𝘃𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗔𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆

    The deterioration in the state of the River Wye has been well documented and has resulted in a public law claim against the Environment Agency. Brought by River Action, who are represented by the environment team at Leigh Day, the judicial review claim cites the Environment Agency’s failure properly to enforce the rules governing the spreading of organic manure and artificial fertiliser that can be spread on agricultural land from which water runs off and leaches into the River Wye. That claim was heard in the High Court on 7-8 February 2024.

    It pointed out:

    ▪️ The Wye was designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) to protect the river’s once-famous extensive Ranunculus river weed beds. However over 90 per cent of the river’s Ranunculus has now been lost, smothered by the algal blooms which means the river is not meeting the SAC conservation status specified by the Habitats Directive. In June 2020, a thick algal bloom extended for over 140 miles, almost the entire length of the river.

    ▪️ A study published in May 2022 by the University of Lancaster, Re-focusing Phosphorus use in the Wye Catchment (RePhoKUs Study) concluded that 60-70 per cent of the river’s total phosphorus load now comes from agriculture and an excess load of 3,000 tonnes of phosphorus is still being added to the river catchment area each year. This excess is accumulating at a rate equivalent to 17kg of phosphorus per hectare when the national average is 7kg per hectare.

    MarkHubbard.thumb.jpeg.c184fdd4cc17cfb089662d1c9def4257.jpeg
    Mark Hubbard

    AdamFisherimage.thumb.jpeg.9650497095c41ea2f242274d622ef3c8.jpeg WyephotobyLeighDay.thumb.jpg.b6beade19421ba004edd14ef7aad36da.jpg
    Adam Fisher                                                                                        Wye Photo by Leigh Day

    PETEREDDINGS.thumb.jpg.91cf6707d41df99c6392e6804eab48fd.jpg
    Pete Reddings 

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    Pete Reddings

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    Usk photo by Leigh Day

     


    Hereford Street Murals

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford Public Art Collection - Art + People + Place programme

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    Street murals

    Hereford is about to transform as eight new public artworks are unveiled on our city streets. Locals and visitors will start to see artworks appear on gable ends of prominent buildings, and in underpasses and passageways across the city, throughout February and March 2024. The commissioned mural artists range from international and regional level to supporting local Herefordshire talent.

    The locations and artists are:

    A new sculpture trail

    An additional partnership project with Hereford College of Arts and Meadow Arts will celebrate the college's 170th anniversary in 2024. Drawing inspiration from old pictorial trade signs of the 17th and 18th centuries, this project will reimagine this tradition for the 21st century, reusing disused shop signage brackets to create a sculpture trail through the city.

    Enhancing the historic core of Hereford

    The new Art + People + Place programme, commissioned in partnership with Studio Response, is part of the £6 million Hereford City Centre Improvements (HCCI) project. The overall project aims to refurbish the historic core of Hereford through investment in the streetscape, landscaping and public realm, and is funded jointly by the council and Marches LEP.

    The public art project has been years in the making, bringing together local people, students, businesses and stakeholders from across the city to add creativity and vibrancy to our streets. We held a public consultation session in June 2023 which provided themes, ideas and locations that have fed into the final artworks.

    The Hereford Public Art Trail will launch in April 2024.

     


    Outline Planning Sought For 350 New Homes Inc Affordable Housing In Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    An outline planning application has been submitted to Herefordshire Council.

    'Outline planning application for the demolition of existing buildings and structures and the erection of up to 350 dwellings (including affordable housing), a farm shop and café, employment workspaces, and land for a potential primary school, along with associated parking, access roads, walking and cycling routes, public open space, landscaping, sustainable urban drainage and other associated works, site clearance and infrastructure. All matters reserved except access, which is partially reserved, with detailed approval sought for the primary vehicular site access via the A438'

    Misc23.thumb.png.7f4fe9c944a32a24c1ba845b90466116.png Plans1.thumb.png.8f67795b6ee78110902f9858edd955ce.png

    Planning Application P240422/F

     

     


    New town centre policing teams to launch across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Worcestershire

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Extra police officers will soon be out on patrol in towns across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Worcestershire as West Mercia Police introduce ten new dedicated town centre teams.

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    The teams will see officers and PCSOs with a specific town (or city) centre focus, based in:

    • Evesham
    • Hereford
    • Kidderminster
    • Leominster
    • Oswestry
    • Redditch
    • Ross-on-Wye
    • Shrewsbury
    • Telford
    • Worcester

    Delivering on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Safer West Mercia Plan, the introduction of the focused teams is part of our joint commitment to ensure officers are visible, accessible, and focused on tackling the priorities that matter most to the communities we serve.

    The locations of the new teams have been chosen based on where data shows there’s the highest policing demand, biggest populations and/or footfall, and where an extra police presence will further help prevent crime and offer additional reassure to communities.

    Temporary Chief Constable Alex Murray said:

    “The town centre teams will bolster local policing in our communities, making sure we have officers in the places we know you want to see them and tackling the issues that really matter to you.

    “These extra officers will work alongside response teams to make sure we are where you need us – be it in the towns and cities or the more rural areas of the three counties we serve.

    “Over the last year crime has reduced and more crimes have been detected and the new teams will help us in our persistent and proactive approach to fighting crime. They will be highly visible, working to cut crime, reduce anti-social behaviour, actively target repeat offences and working to reduce retail and business crime, including shoplifting.”

    The teams are being funded through Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion’s 2024/25 budget.

    Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said:

    “I hear regularly from communities calling for police officers to be evermore visible and accessible in the heart of communities.

    “I have listened to those concerns and have ensured West Mercia Police has the resources it needs to introduce first-of-a-kind town centre policing teams across West Mercia.

    "I know these teams will help drive down crime and build strong relationships with the public and businesses they proudly serve.”

    The teams will be in place later this year.


    Herefordshire Council Confirms Overall Council Tax For 2024/25

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Herefordshire Council adopts the Council Tax precepts

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    Herefordshire Council has adopted the total Council Tax precepts for all Herefordshire residents. 

    As the billing authority, the council has a statutory duty to collect charges set by each parish council, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia and Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority. However, Herefordshire Council has no control over the level of increase or how these organisations choose to spend their budget.

    Herefordshire residents will be provided with individual bills based on their parish location. The raised precepts are needed to support the delivery of vital services across the county, with the average Council Tax bill for a Band D dwelling set at £1,954.79.

    This includes the council’s own tax charge of £1,875.76 (for a band D dwelling) which was approved by Full Council on 9 February 2024. The increase is needed to support the continued delivery of vital services across the county and our priority is to get the best possible value for every pound we spend on the people of Herefordshire.

    The precept for the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia rose by 4.91% to £277.50, an increase of £13.00.

    The precept for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority rose by 2.99% to £97.22, an increase of £2.82.

    The discount on the council tax reduction (CTR) scheme for any struggling family which qualifies will remain at 100% for the coming year – irrespective of the price banding of their home. Additionally, some residents will continue to pay no Council Tax at all, such as young adults who have left care and also all the council’s Foster Carer families.

    More information and advice on reduction schemes and allowances can be found on the Herefordshire Council website at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/counciltax

    The Council Tax setting report discussed at Full Council on Friday 8 March 2024 can be found on the council’s website.


    Lidl Three Counties Application, Full Planning Committee Have Final Vote

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The application to demolish the Three Counties Hotel on Belmont Road and built a Lidl will be heard by the Full Planning Committee next Wed 13th March.

    GH6fygAWIAEitHf.thumb.jpeg.f7ff96a16924ab9578e538092b776aed.jpeg

    Report recommends acceptance but final decision rests with the Full Committee which meets at Herefordshire Council offices in Plough Lane in public.

    If approved, the following trading and delivery hours are sought:

    Trading:

    Monday to Saturday Including Bank Holidays: 08:00 - 22:00

    Sundays: 10:00 - 16:00

    Deliveries:

    Monday to Saturday: 07:00 - 23:00

    Sundays: 10:00 - 16:30

    Bank Holidays: 08:00 - 18:00

    𝟭. 𝗦𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻

    1.1 The ‘Three Counties Hotel’ is set back off Belmont Road (A465) Hereford to Abergavenny road and located in the south west of Hereford about 1.5 miles from the City Centre. The application site is about 1.66 hectares in size and currently has landscaped gardens (pond and patio area to the front which established trees) as well as car parking. The site is bounded by Belmont Road to the south, residential properties within Glastonbury Close to the north and east. To the south east is a wooded area and adjacent to that a ‘Drive Thru’ restaurant (McDonalds). To the west beyond the car park are residential dwellings in Flaxley Drive. The Newton Brook runs adjacent to the site to the west. The brook runs from Waterfield Road under Belmont Road and up alongside the Three Counties Hotel then into Glastonbury Close which also runs between Golden Post and Sydwell Road. Residential properties on the periphery of the site are a mix of semi-detached, terraced and detached properties.

    1.2 A Tree Preservation Order covers 4 individual trees across the site, ref T1, T2, T3, & T4. The site is not located within a designated area known as a national Landscape (previously known as area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The site lies within Flood Zone 1 (low risk of flooding). The site is not located within or adjacent to a Conservation Area and there are no heritage assets (including non-designated heritage assets) within the site, adjoining the site or in close proximity.

    1.3 The existing hotel (now closed) had 60 bedrooms with 32 located in an annex to the rear (known as the Garden Rooms). When in use as a hotel it also has an ancillary bar and conference rooms.

    Further information on the subject of this report is available from Ms Heather Carlisle on 01432 260453

    The site is previously developed land/brownfield land. Since March 2023 until March 2024 the hotel has been used to house asylum seekers and has been run by the ‘Home Office’. The site is currently closed to the general public but would revert back to a hotel following the end of the temporary use to house the asylum seekers.

    231703 - THREE COUNTIES HOTEL BELMONT HEREFORD HEREFORDSHIRE HR2 7BP.pdf

     


    Hereford Toilet Could Be Converted To Sleeper Pod For Homeless

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Herefordshire Council have submitted a planning application to convert existing public toilet located in Union Street Hereford into a temporary sleeper pod.

    Screenshot2024-03-11at09_52_54.thumb.png.40265771f3d221d43bbb31c05bb4a103.png

    'Proposed removal of existing public toilet and change of use to provide a single occupancy self contained 'sleeper pod' to comprise a bed, shower and WC to provide accommodation for a single temporary homeless person'

    Misc222.thumb.png.04a19b3816f35874a03a2992e4df2ee3.png

    Full details HERE

     


    Mystery Steel Monolith Appears On Hay Bluff

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    The silver monolith was spotted by walkers on Hay Bluff near the Powys town of Hay-on-Wye at the weekend. It follows a spate of monoliths cropping up around the world in 2020 - from the Isle of Wight to Romania, California and the Utah desert.

    Monolith.thumb.jpg.2ef734c59da820bf67fda734995e984f.jpg

    It also sparked social media chatter that it surely was the work of aliens. Some quashed those rumours, instead believing it’s another elaborate piece of undercover artwork we’ve become accustomed to. One of the monoliths even arrived in 2020 with the words “Not Banksy”

    Conspiracy theorists speculated aliens could be behind the structures - and some people on social media have turned to the same explanation for the structure in Wales.

    No one has come forward to claim responsibility for the Welsh monolith, although an anonymous collective called The Most Famous Artist took credit for the structures in America in 2020.


    Yates Bar In Hereford New Lease Available

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Attractive public house available by way of a new free of tie lease

    Yates.thumb.jpg.1aecf06ea68dd655ae4bba145753f3d0.jpg


    Key features

    ▪️Attractive public house close to Hereford City Centre

    ▪️Located on Commercial Road comprising a mix of national and independent operators

    ▪️GIA approximately 5,800 Sq Ft (546 Sq M)

    ▪️Trading area at ground floor with central bar servery

    ▪️Good sized rear trade garden

    ▪️Rental offers invited in excess of £70,000 per annum plus VAT

    Property is listed with Savills here

    It appears that Yates may not be renewing their lease in Hereford..

    The Yates brand of pubs is owned by Stonegate. The company did not renew leases on other Yates bars including the closure of their bar in Ipswich last year and another in Oldham.

    Yates opened in Hereford on Thursday 29 March 2012 with a celebratory launch party and surprise guest star.

    The pub, was formally the Litten Tree, closed on Sunday 18th March 2012.


    One woman charged with drug offences in Hereford

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    One woman was yesterday (Wednesday 6 March) charged with drugs offences after she was arrested at an address in Leominster, Herefordshire.

    GIEhlc8WcAAkU7g.thumb.jpeg.703762c31643830c6e2a136842cd5480.jpeg

    Victoria Cox, 37, of Cheaton Close in Leominster, Herefordshire was charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

    She was due to appear at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court this morning (Thursday 7 March) 

    Another woman, aged 52 ,was also arrested during the warrant was released under investigation while enquiries continue.


    📣 𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗘𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗥𝗘 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 | Ledbury man sentenced for dangerous driving

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    A Ledbury man has been jailed after the passenger of the car he was driving died when he lost control of the vehicle.

    Daniel Kalva, of Bridge Street in Ledbury, pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 5 March) to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death whilst uninsured and unlicensed and perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to 11 years.

    kalvaedit.jpg.033a7f6d540105b79fc7f2796688958a.jpg

    In the early hours of 7 November 2022 21-year-old Kalva was travelling on the A438, between Hereford and Ledbury, with passenger Molly Stone and one other passenger. Kalva lost control of the vehicle and collided with a building.

    Molly, who was 19 years old at the time, was ejected from the vehicle and sadly died in hospital from her injuries.

    Police Constable Jamie Carr from Hereford Operations Policing Unit said: “No length of sentencing will ever be able to replace a daughter and sister who was very much loved by family and friends. Molly’s parents and sister have been extremely brave throughout the investigation into the loss of their daughter and sibling.

    “Molly’s parents would like to thank the emergency services who attended the incident for their work and also the NHS for their efforts to save Molly’s life”.

    “I do hope that one positive outcome to this traumatic incident is that it gives a clear message that people should not get behind a wheel unless they are legally able to so and drive responsibly with care and thought of others”.


    Lidl, Three Counties Hotel Planning Application Determination Date Moved Again

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    𝗟𝗶𝗱𝗹 𝗥𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝗣𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝗔𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝗔𝘁 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐇𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐥 𝗧𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗗𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗠𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗔𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻, 𝗡𝗼𝘄 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟭𝟮𝘁𝗵 𝗝𝗮𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰.

    354051282_635797178575382_3665943628710629236_n-3.thumb.jpg.688adb0dc47667c20f41c0041ad4b9b1.jpg

    Due to the constant delays and new determination dates surrounding this controversial planning application, Lidl may try for a 'Non Determination' which could force approval, maybe that's the plan...🤔

    (Non-determination is when the Local Planning Authority, in this case Herefordshire Council, fails to determine the application within the statutory period. Very occasionally the Secretary of State will take the decision).

    354256569_635797268575373_2046829810298735317_n-3.jpg.d25dacd8a73c4b4bff2e479eaa8cce6f.jpg

    'Demolition of existing hotel and associated structures and erection of Class E food store with associated access, parking, servicing, drainage and landscaping'

    𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 - 𝗣𝟮𝟯𝟭𝟳𝟬𝟯/𝗙 - https://hfd.news/VqbT

    𝗔𝗻𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗼𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲-𝘀𝘂𝗯𝗺𝗶𝘁 𝗮 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘃𝗲

    The original hybrid planning application has been withdrawn. Our original 'Breaking News' article https://hfd.news/DjES


    Hereford landscaper fined for fly tipping

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Shaun Smith, trading as ‘Garden and Landscaping Services’, dumped business waste in Hereford field

    A landscape gardener from Hereford has been fined for illegally disposing of waste during an eight month period in 2022, in a case heard at Hereford Magistrates’ Court by Herefordshire Council’s Community Protection Team.

    Mr Shaun Smith (52), of Putson Avenue, Hereford, appeared at Hereford Magistrates’ court on 20 February 2024, where he was fined £733, and ordered to pay £1500 in costs and £293 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to three charges of fly tipping and failing to secure the transfer of waste to an authorised person in relation to waste produced from his landscaping business.

    The court heard that in the late hours of 12 November 2022, a Police officer discovered a large unattended fire burning and giving off black smoke in the field that sits directly behind the Grafton Travelodge hotel in Hereford. Concerned that nearby properties could catch fire, the officer woke up the nearby residents and called the fire brigade who attended and put the fire out. The incident was then reported to Herefordshire Council and investigated by officers of the Community Protection team who attended and found piles of dumped green waste, general waste, tyres, white goods, scrap metal, bricks, soil, and rubble around a large area in the ground which had been scraped where a large fire had occurred.

    029___Fly_tipped_waste_1.jpg.f79eec13d441641d63129e980acfc229.jpg

    The court further heard that officers re-visited the field on Monday 12 December 2022 where they discovered Shaun Smith present unloading waste from his flatbed vehicle.

    Further enquiries revealed that Shaun Smith was a landscaper gardener, trading as ‘Garden and Landscaping Services’ who was unable to provide any documentation as to where he had been disposing of his business waste between the dates of 12 December 2020 and 12 December 2022.

    Charles Yarnold, Herefordshire Council’s Head of Regulatory and Technical Services, said: “Fly tipping is a serious environmental hazard and a blight on our beautiful county. Businesses do this to avoid the cost of disposing of their waste lawfully. All businesses must ensure appropriate measures are in place so the waste they produce is disposed of correctly. Businesses must also have documentation to show who they have transferred the waste to and keep those records for at least two years. Anyone found fly tipping waste will be prosecuted."

    The maximum penalty for fly tipping is a £50,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment.

    Herefordshire Council’s Community Protection Team will investigate fly tipping which is reported by calling 01432 261761 or online at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/flytipping

     


    Speed Enforcement Camera A465 Belmont Road Hereford. Freedom Of Information Request

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    HEREFORD VOICE - FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST  

    post-1633-0-97144300-1518528493.thumb.jpg.d423b31d52122154771876aedca9b1d3.jpg

    I write in connection with your request for information which was received on 29th January 2024.

    Please find below the response to your request:

    1. How many fines have been issued in relation to the fixed speed camera on the A465 Belmont Road in Hereford during the last three financial years.
    2. How much money has been has been paid in relation to these fines?
    3. What is the highest speed recorded on this camera during that period?
    4. And could this information be broken down into each financial year?

    Information that can be disclosed is below:

                                    Yearly total         Monthly average             

    Apr21-Mar22            2986                     248

    Apr22-Mar23            1866                     155       

    Apr23-Feb24            1616                     146

    Period total               6468                    

    • Highest speed recorded                            75mph
    • NDOR courses completed                        5683
    • Fixed penalty notices                                785

    All Fines from HM Courts go to the Treasury.

    West Mercia Police receive no money from fines issued from the offenders.

    Only the £45 element fee charged from an NDORS referral will be collected by West Mercia Police. In the time period stated West Mercia Police received £255,000.


    BREAKING NEWS | 120 Asylum Seekers Could Soon Be Given Accommodation At The Three Counties Hotel

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Hereford Voice has today come into possession of a document sent from the Home Office to Herefordshire Council requesting the resettlement of a minimum of 120 Asylum Seekers in Hereford's Three Counties Hotel.

    275772849_4917500398343889_6073680885030407279_n.jpg.a70f7f7484d7c58458194ce271ef1964.thumb.jpg.2e82a8dfead6e6bb88d83db0b5fb101b.jpg

    In the letter sent from Ann Smith (MCIPS)Deputy Director | Resettlement, Asylum Support & Integration says;

    ResettlementofAsylunmSeekers.thumb.png.29c505dcf5164acf53b439c57fc44cb8.png

    "We have identified the Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Rd, Hereford HR2 7BP as a site to be used to accommodate asylum seekers and are therefore bringing this to your attention so that we can address any concerns you may have. Due to the demands on the system we intend to stand up this site in line with our new guidance, and would like to work with you to determine which cohort would best fit to this site and I can confirm it has a maximum bed space of 120"

    Herefordshire Council would also be expected to pick up all the costs associated, including providing, healthcare, school, free schools dinners etc...

    See all of the relevant documents attached below;

    Resettlement of Asylunm Seekers 1.pdf

    Resettlement of Asylunm Seekers 2.pdf

    Health Protection For Migrants 1.pdf

    Scabies.pdf

    NHS Asylum Seekers.pdf


    Casualties Required Trauma Care After Suffering From Multiple Injuries Following RTC In Hereford.

    Hereford Voice
    By Hereford Voice,

    Emergency services responded to a single vehicle RTC last night in Hampton Bishop Hereford.

    422661554_808155561343445_441574409301009652_n.thumb.jpg.ed935efc923bce4835d86298657f85b8.jpg 428648163_808155664676768_8883124599574795225_n.thumb.jpg.64978d2074c6b3789da13dbcba2a30bc.jpg

    A spokesperson from Hereford Fire Station told Hereford Voice

    "At 20:18 461 and 463 mobilised to a single vehicle RTC on the B4224, Hampton Bishop.

    All persons self extricated but required trauma care, suffering from multiple injuries. Fire Service Personnel administered initial trauma care before being handed over to the ambulance service.

    Crews then made the vehicle safe and assisted police with road clearance"

    Hereford Voice - '𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗸 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲'


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