Residents of Brampton Abbotts are up in arms over plans to construct a passing bay on Turner’s Lane.

The lane is a dead end with no through traffic and the passing bay has been described by residents as unnecessary. They argue that the passing bay would damage a hedgerow, potentially undermine a retaining wall, and destroy the remaining rural character of the lane. Additionally, the lay-by may be used for parking, as it is located on the popular Herefordshire Way footpath.

The issue has taken a new turn with the discovery of great crested newts, a protected species, in the area of the planned construction. This has prompted residents to call for a compromise in the situation.

A meeting was scheduled at the Brampton Abbotts Village Hall car park, where Councillor Barry Durkin and residents hoped to find a solution to the problem. However, the planners declined the invitation to the meeting.

It has also been revealed that the original planning consent, P153437/F, dated May 6, 2016, did not include the passing bay. However, the latest planning consent, P220624/F, dated May 27, 2022, did include the passing bay.

A letter from the Brampton Abbotts Parish Council to the planners insisted that the passing bay be installed. The residents claim that the council did not consult them on this decision.

The residents are also concerned about the impact the passing bay may have on the natural habitat of great crested newts. Brian Miller-Hall, a resident of the area, said: “All this for a tiny village that has no through traffic and is within an AONB area.”

The first phase of the housing development near the end of the lane is nearing completion, and the developer is keen to have the work signed off to complete the sale of the houses.

Councilor Barry Durkin met with residents on-site on Monday, February 20, and agreed to make efforts to find a solution to the issue.

The Brampton Abbotts and Foy Parish Council has objected to the planning application in support of the passing bay, stating that it is essential to aid traffic flows for existing residents and those who will ultimately purchase the new houses. The parish council considers it essential that the passing bay be provided, as per the original permission, on the grounds of highway safety, and asks that the planning authority support this position.