Neighbourhood Development Plan

After 5 years of diligent work helped by many members of the community the Dorstone Neighbourhood Development Plan (DNDP) was made (passed into law) in February 2017. 

Within the plan document you will find specific planning policies that refer to Dorstone Parish. These policies, agreed by a large majority of the parish electorate, form an intrinsic legal part of planning law and must be considered by county planning officials when making any planning determinations relating to Dorstone Parish.

Below are the NDP Policies in summary. The full text of the plan can be viewed in PDF format at the bottom of this page (4MB may take a few moments to load):

Dorstone NDP Policies

DNP H1 - Housing policy

The development of at least 21 new dwellings within the Dorstone settlement boundary, defined on the village policies map, will be supported over the Plan period so long as proposals:

  1. relate to infill sites accommodating one to three dwellings;
  2. are located to offer suitable residential amenity, and not adversely affect
  3. residential amenity of existing residents;
  4. are outside flood zone 2 and 3 areas;
  5. conserve and enhance the significance of the Dorstone Conservation Area;
  6. do not substantially harm designated heritage assets, and where proposals will lead to less than substantial harm of designated heritage assets this should be weighed against public benefits;
  7. present a balanced judgement of the scale of harm to, and significance of, non designated heritage assets;
  8. do not have significant adverse impact on the landscape features listed in Appendix E (see plan document below);
  9. do not have significant adverse impact on the important views from locations freely accessible by the general public identified in Appendix E and on Map 3 (see plan document below);
  10. meet access standards required by the Highways Authority
  11. New homes will only be supported outside the defined settlement boundary where they comply with Herefordshire Core Strategy policies, H2 (rural exception sites), RA3 (dwellings in the countryside), RA4 (agriculture, forestry and rural enterprise dwellings), and RA5 (re-use of rural buildings).

DNP H2 - Housing Design Criteria

To be supported housing proposals must:

1. Respect and where possible enhance the natural, built and historic environment of the parish and Dorstone’s Conservation Area and take every opportunity through design and materials to reinforce local distinctiveness and a strong sense of place incorporating local features as set out below:

  • Two-storey height dwellings
  •  Majority of buildings constructed with slate roofs
  •  Majority of buildings constructed with natural stone walls • Render / timber cladding also used for external walls
  •  Painted timber windows
  •  Windows tight below roof eaves lines
  •  Painted timber doors, with porches over (various styles)
  •  Stone / brick chimneys 

 2. Take every opportunity where practicable and viable, to include features which improve environmental performance and reduce carbon emissions. These will include energy efficient measures as well as renewable energy generation as set out in Appendix C (see plan document below).

3. Include appropriate sustainable urban drainage systems and flood storage measures to ensure that any new development does not result in an increase in surface water run-off and reduces existing run-off where possible.

4. Be of a scale and form which complements the character of the area and will not result in a loss of amenity for existing residents.

5. Include a maximum of 3 bedrooms, unless the latest assessment of housing needs of in the parish demonstrates such homes are no longer required. Otherwise proposals for new homes with more than 3 bedrooms will only exceptionally be supported to meet particular housing needs of local residents, for example, to enable their caring for dependent or elderly relatives, or to cater for a large family..

DNP H3 - Delivery of Affordable Housing

Affordable housing, justified through an up to date housing needs survey, will be supported on sites outside but adjacent to the defined settlement boundary of Dorstone to meet the identified housing needs of local people within the parish and the requirements of Policy H2 of the Herefordshire Core Strategy.

DNP E1 - Small Businesses, Farming and Employment

The creation of small scale new business space and live work units will be supported through: 

  1. the conversion and re-use of redundant rural buildings
  2. appropriate small scale extensions to existing residential properties
  3. appropriate extensions to existing employment operations.
  4. small scale new buildings or workshops on suitable sites within the defined settlement boundary of Dorstone.
  5. if the above provisions do not meet the stated business need for an on-site dwelling, providing that there is full compliance with Local Plan Policy RA4 and RA5, support will be given to the development of live/work units.

All proposals will need to ensure that:

  1. the proposed work activity and proposed development is compatible with its location and setting and can be accommodated within the local highway network to the satisfaction of the Highway Authority.
  2. any development shall be designed having regard to policies contained within this Plan and should not impact on local amenity or detract from the quality and character of the building to which they are linked or neighbouring buildings, by reason of height scale, massing, location or facing materials used in their construction. They should also avoid any adverse impacts on the River Wye SAC.

All proposals must comply with Policies RA5, RA 6 and Policy E1 and E3 of the Herefordshire Core Strategy.

DNP IN1 - Infrastructure

  1. Mobile Phone Infrastructure proposals which will provide high quality telecommunications for businesses and residents will be supported where they are sensitively sited and are of an appropriate type and scale which protect local amenity and will have minimal impact on the areas historic and natural environment.
  2. Proposals for well-designed and sensitively located development linked with the delivery of super-fast broadband services will be supported where they provide high quality internet connectivity for businesses and residents.
  3. All new developments will need to provide suitable connections to services to ensure that future occupiers have access to high speed broadband.

DNP T1 - Tourism

Sustainable rural tourism proposals will be supported where they:

  1. Are of a size and scale which respects and has minimal impact on the local environment, landscape and historical heritage of the area
  2. Take account of the impact of any new tourist development on safety, volume of additional traffic and vehicular access and have off road parking.
  3. Convert and reuse rural buildings for the provision of B& B and Self catering accommodation where they demonstrate a sound business case.
  4. Support initiatives to improve and expand footpath, bridleway and cycle way networks.

DNP RE1 - Renewable Energy

To be supported development proposals must:

  1. Incorporate measures tor educe the use of fossil fuels
  2. Promote the efficient use of natural resources
  3. Promote the production and consumption of renewable energy
  4. Encourage and where possible facilitate the development of low and zero carbon energy consumption particularly in the case of proposed new housing development.
  5. Ensure all new renewable energy proposals take account of landform, layout, building mass and orientation and landscape so as to minimise consumption and be appropriate for both the type and scale of the proposed development and avoids any adverse impacts on the River Wye SAC Catchment.
  6. Promote renewable and low carbon technologies in locations where they will not harm the character or appearance of the parish or the surrounding landscape.
  7. Incorporate design features in new developments as identified in Appendix C of this Plan to reduce their energy requirements.

DNP ENV 1 – Conservation, Heritage and Landscape

Development proposals will be supported where they;

  1. conserve or enhance the character of the Conservation Area, including its listed buildings, archaeological sites, and heritage features; as well as its important open space, main views from locations freely accessible by the general public and landscape features identified in Appendix E (see plan document below).
  2. are of a scale and design which ensures new build will merge seamlessly with the existing landscape, the main features of which are identified in Appendix E (see plan document below);
  3. reflect heritage features identified in Appendix B (see plan document below);
  4. protect ancient woodlands, the River Wye SAC, and the Moccas Park SSSI
  5. improve access through the creation of new pathways and opening of green lanes and tracks;
  6. propose intensive livestock units that demonstrate no significant adverse landscape, environmental or amenity impact, and with access arrangements that fully satisfy the requirements of the Highway Authority;
  7. propose commercial scale polytunnel developments that demonstrate no significant adverse impact on visual and residential amenity, and do not result in significant adverse environmental or landscape impacts either alone or cumulatively with existing developments.

DNP F1 – Flooding

  1. No development should be permitted in areas identified as being within potential Flood Zones 2 & 3 of the Pont-y-Weston and the River Dore as defined by the Environment Agency.
  2. Proposals for new development will include a flood risk assessment and drainage strategy, including the provision of sustainable urban drainage solutions ensuring that any new development does not result in an increase in surface water runoff and aims to reduce existing run off where possible.

DNP CF1 – Community Facilities

  1. The DNP seeks the retention and enhancement of all its existing community facilities, those listed in Appendix D, for their ongoing use by the local community.
  2. Proposals for new community facilities will be supported where they meet a community need, are sensitively located, protect residential amenity, and provide sufficient parking.
  3. Any development proposal that adversely affect or results in the loss of a community facility should be able to demonstrate that an alternative facility can be provided of equal size, quality or accessibility or that the facility is no longer required, fit for purpose or viable.

Village Landscape Features

The features listed below are displayed visually on the attached map. Click here 


Open spaces are at the ‘heart’ of the village, and the study has identified the following as the important spaces in the village:

OS1 Open space between the B4348 and Pont-y-Weston Brook (with St Faith’s Church to the East and Llandine to the West) 

OS2 Open space surrounding the Motte and Bailey Castle 

OS3 The Village Green (centre of the village) 

OS4 Open space between Chapel Lane and the old road to Peterchurch 

OS5 Open space around St Faith’s Church 


There are numerous view in and around Dorstone, and the study has identified the following as the main views:

V1 View North West from Court Farm

V2 View South from Pitt Road

V3 View South West from Mill Lane

V4 View North East from Motte and Bailey Castle 

V5 View North East from Village Green

V6 View North West from Village Green

V7 View North from Brooklands Bridge

V8 View West from Bell Farm

V9 View North West from B4348 Junction • V10 View North East from B4348 Junction • V11 View North from Playing Field

V12 View South East from Bridge Cottage

V13 View North West from Chapel Lane Junction 

In addition there are also directed views along the narrow roads, bordered by tall hedgerows


The village sits within the ‘Golden Valley’ undulating landscape, with surrounding hills and woodlands

  • Open fields
  • High hedgerows and trees, bordering roads and properties • Pont-y-Weston Brook (leading into the River Dore)
  • Motte and Bailey Castle