COUNTY planners have approved a scheme for new homes near Ross-on-Wye, despite concerns it will amount to ‘environmental vandalism’.

Some 39 residents along with the parish council objected to the proposals for the new detached homes on land at Oakland’s Paddock on Langstone Lane in Llangarron.

Their concerns included fears over road safety, the height of the proposed buildings and that the homes would not be in keeping with the local area.

But the scheme, which includes a mixture of three and four bed homes, also received 12 letters of support and council officers recommended approving it subject to conditions.

Ward councillor Elissa Swinglehurst told the planning committee that Llangarron had already exceeded the minimum target of housing needed in the area.

She also warned of the impact extra houses would have on the narrow lanes and said several other housing proposals have recently been given the go-ahead.

“The cumulative impact on the road would be severe,” she said.

Councillor Paul Rone said the site visit showed there was a lack of local services and called the plans ‘environmental vandalism’.

“There’s no shop, no pub, no school, there’s barely a bus service,” he said.

“The hedgerow is hundreds of years old if not thousands.”

However, coun Bernard Hunt said he did not think the development would be an ‘intolerable burden on the environment.”

“Four houses wouldn’t swamp the area,” he said.

Coun Polly Andrews said the statutory consultees had not objected.

“We have no alternative but to support this application.”

And coun Terry James said the council would not have a ‘cat in hell’s chance’ to win any planning appeal should the committee reject the proposals.

The committee approved the scheme with five votes in favour, three against and four abstentions.