Bircher in Herefordshire frustrated by Knoll Cottage abandonment

LOCALS are growing increasingly frustrated by an abandoned, roofless cottage destroying their idyllic Herefordshire village.

Residents of Bircher, near Leominster, say they are offended daily by the dilapidated, roofless and deteriorated condition of Knoll Cottage.

The cottage has been falling into disrepair for at least 25 years, but has been listed for sale for £399,000.

The grade II listed building was once an attractive double thatched house.


The Herefordshire Council building control team were alerted to the impending collapse of the facade several years ago and emergency propping and removal of rotten thatch was undertaken.

But now English Heritage has classified the building as ‘at risk’ after the current owner failed to make progress on repairs and the building was left in a precarious state with winter conditions likely to contribute to its collapse, according to the inhabitants.

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The group said villagers are constantly questioned about the abandoned building by visitors to the popular Home Farm Caravan site opposite, but have no good news to report and the horror is an “embarrassment” in a county that promotes its attractive black and white buildings to tourists. .

The Yarpole Group Parish Council is aware of the problem as well as County Councilor Sebastian Bowen.


Herefordshire Council is believed to be serving an emergency repair notice, funded in part by English Heritage, and work to secure the structure is planned.

When asked by locals, Herefordshire Council said it was unable to provide an update as the case involved law enforcement and legal teams.

It is understood that Herefordshire Council is in talks with the owner.

A spokesperson for the residents’ group said: ‘Residents feel that Herefordshire Council have proven unable to act effectively to protect this listed building and question why the legal process of compulsory purchase has not been promulgated.”

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