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David Fowler  Chair, Hereford Civic Society,

1. Comments on planning application P230385, Museum, Hereford Library Broad Street Hereford Herefordshire HR4 9AU

Application for the proposed renovation and adaptation of the existing Hereford Museum and Library to become a dedicated and enhanced facility for Herefordshire Museum Service and viable for the future. This would comprise a museum, education space, galleries, cafe, and staff facilities.


Comments below have been drafted by a Hereford Civic Society case-worker to reflect the generality of the view of the Society and do not necessarily reflect the views of all members.



The Applicant’s current proposals were developed from a conceptual design on which Hereford Civic Society were invited to comment.  We are pleased to see that the current design incorporates a number of our suggestions made to the Applicant’s architect in August 2022. 


We support the architect’s intention to conserve much of the original building, in particular the front façade on Broad Street, the retention of the Broad Street facing dormer windows and the removal of the current display cases set between the ground floor windows.




  1. We are concerned that the building doesn’t have “street presence”.  For all who walk along Broad Street, we ask ourselves “does the building stand out from its neighbours or begs to be visited, and what more can be done to bring the building to passers-by attention”.

Entrance Foyer/ Lobby:

  1. The entrance foyer/lobby is cramped.  Because of the central entrance, on entry, the space divides into two small areas either side of a passage way requiring to be kept free of obstruction, leading to the (3rd) set of double doors that takes the visitor into the stair well. The two small areas are shown to accommodate a reception area, merchandise displays, storage area for visitors’ possessions that are not to be taken into the galleries, and an orientation exhibition.

  2. This layout invites visitors on entry, to walk directly ahead to the third set of double doors into the stair well and to not to linger/ browse at merchandise on display.  On departure, to leave the building in the same manner.  This is the opposite of what we believe the applicant intends.

  3. The single door besides the reception desk and the adjacent double doors both lead into the stair well.  To have two sets of doors, side by side is confusing and we suggest, unnecessary. 

  4. The picture on drawing 10265-ART-xx-oo-DR-A 16000 showing lounge chairs, settees in a generously sized carpeted space and the absence of other furniture is misleading.

  5. We strongly object to the presence of “roller shutter screens” (drawing 10265-ART-xx-oo-DR-A-41110) which confusingly are described as “proposed sliding screens” on drawing 10265-ART-xx-oo-DR-A-16000.  Regardless to whether the screens draw from left to right or ceiling to floor, neither are appropriate in the entrance lobby of a historic/ listed building. 


  1. We support the retention of the staircase, the removal of suspended ceilings and the opening up of blocked windows to allow in natural daylight.

Woolhope Room:

  1.  We are pleased to see the plans retain the historic character of the Woolhope Room.

Café/ Roof terrace:

  1. Takes up the whole of the 5th floor. The café is likely become a destination in its own right.  We support that. What isn’t clear are the museum’s security arrangements when the café is open and the museum is closed.  CCTV coverage of the entrance/ lobby area should possibly overcome this. An intercom at the front door, would enable staff on the 5th floor to control entry for diners with reservations.

Exhibition Galleries:

  1. Members of Hereford Civic Society attended consultations conducted at Herefordshire Council’s Museum Resource and Learning Centre in Friar Street (January 2023) and a short presentation in the Woolhope Room in early March 2023.  We are not aware of any subsequent feedback concerning the intended use of the exhibition galleries. These consultations omitted all mention of the museum entrance and visitor experience/ first impressions on entering the building.

  2. Members have expressed a concern that the Museum’s plans concentrate on the county’s archaeology with little consideration of Herefordshire’s art collection.  Except for a small room on the 4th floor designed to portray Brian Hatton’s studio, there are no proposals to display Herefordshire’s extensive collection of art treasures.  We suggest that the gallery earmarked for the staging of travelling exhibitions is designed and designated to perform this function at times when this gallery would otherwise remain empty/ locked/ unused.


For consideration:

Our concerns with respect to the building’s difficulty in drawing the attention of passers-by (both residents and visitors to the city) and the building’s cramped entrance foyer/ lobby could be addressed by placing a structure (perhaps a rectangular glass building) on the pavement outside the Museum in Broad Street.  The Louvre in Paris has of course the glass pyramid.  Such a structure avoids the temptation to attach promotional material to the existing building or the siting of temporary promotional material alongside the museum entrance. 

2.  Response to the Hereford City Masterplan                     February 2023

Are there any other challenges we should be considering?  

The city centre isn't everyone's destination, whereas current public transport services assume that it is. Design of street layout in new housing developments, both recently completed and in the course of construction build in car dependency. Design guidelines shouldn't assume that all dwellings require car parking spaces. Many residents move into the city because they wish to no longer depend on a car. Insist on the provision of local shops and community space (indoors and outdoors) in new housing developments. Restrict expansion of out-of-town shopping centres, which abstract revenue from the traditional High Street shops. Build on changes in the new Highway code, that consider the pedestrian and cyclist above that of the motorist. "Shared Space", adoption of a 20mph limit throughout the city -at which speed cyclists can co-exist sharing road space, avoiding much of the requirement for major infrastructure investment. Cross city cycle paths/ pedestrian routes. eg. Extension of Great Western way northwards, cross (under) the A49 with pedestrian access to the Homer Trading. Getting children to walk/ cycle to school

Which areas of Hereford would benefit from better public transport? 

There should be a genuine bus interchange with co-ordinated service timetables that enable timely cross city journeys without excessive waiting times. This could be at the Station Transport hub or at one of several locations - with services stopping at multiple city centre locations not just one (as currently happens with most services that terminate at the City Bus Station besides Tesco). Services that enter the city on anyone street, should provide a regular frequent service not be bunched together.

Do you cycle, wheel or walk in Hereford currently?

• Walk

What are the challenges that need to be overcome? 

• Safety of pedestrians / better walking routes / safe crossing points

• Motor vehicle speeds

• Exposure to pollution


What might encourage you to?  

• Slower motor vehicle speeds

• Safer routes for cyclists / better cycling infrastructure / lanes / segregation

• Safer routes for pedestrians / pedestrian crossing points


Any other things that might encourage you?

Slowing motor vehicle speeds will automatically make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians, without the need for any significant infrastructure expenditure. "Shared space" will also slow vehicles and allow the removal of street furniture.


Would you like to provide details of specific locations or measures to be put in place that would make Hereford streets more people friendly?

A 20mph speed limit on all city streets from Red Hill to the Starting Gate; from Belmont to Tupsley, from Wyevale Garden Centre to the Worcester Road including the Holme Lacy Road to the turn for Rotherwas Chapel. Compliance? At busy times all it will take is one vehicle to keep to 20mph and everyone following will be forced to comply. This will provide opportunities to remove traffic lights. There are no traffic signals at the junction of Southbank Road and Aylestone Hill. Motorists can be polite at other junctions also which will improve road capacity/ traffic flow.


What would encourage you to use the Park and Choose sites?

• Bicycle stores

• Regular bus service / other transfer to destination

Any other things that might encourage you to use Park and Choose? Please describe these in the box below.

Bicycle stores should be placed/ or take over a small number of present city centre car parks, enabling cyclists to walk the 200meters or so to their final destination. These cycle stores should be covered, secure, well-lit with CCTV monitoring. Out of city park and choose should be for those arriving by vehicle only. Only cycles should be beryl bikes for hire.

Where do you think the Park and Choose sites should be to encourage you to use them?  

I live within a 15 minute walk to High Town, so this question doesn't apply. For the next question, where I have stated "development site" would include provision for covered cycle storage.

Which of the existing car parks would be best used for green space, which do you think would work best for development sites, and which should be kept as a car park?

When considering car park sites, the masterplan will have to take account of a range of factors including location, usage and constraints such as archaeology, flood risk, site layout, etc.

What else could we introduce to encourage you not to take your car into the city? Please describe in the box below.

Charging city centre businesses for off street parking spaces on their own property for employees/ customers. A congestion/ pollution charge for vehicles entering the city would unfairly penalise through traffic


Is there anything else we should be considering for development within the city?  

Well, this was what was planned 15 years ago ... Hereford Futures, Edgar Street Grid, canal side Urban Village. I agree 100% with your development proposals.


Are there any specific heritage assets we need to bear in mind?

Again, agree 100%. Current issues include the Shire Hall and City Town Hall on St. Owens Street.


Are there any other areas which might benefit from enhancement and what would you like to see there?

Footpaths alongside the Wye as a route for pedestrians and cyclists. Improved signage. Development of a short circular route for tourists - Old bridge, Bishops Meadow to the Victoria Bridge, Castle Green, Castle Street, Cathedral Green, Nell Gwynne Street and return to Bridge Street/ Old Bridge. A standard toolkit of materials should be used across the city. Each project should not pick and choose the materials used.


Is there anything else you think we should be doing to enhance the natural environment within the city?  

All the above are great ideas. Inclusion in the above of the Gloucester Canal is noted, but it is the Council's own actions that mean that the plans outlined 15 years ago to restore the canal basin (still there in the Core Strategy) can no longer be implemented because of short termism in their own decision making. Disappointing.


View proposal


3.  Proposed Transport Hub Hereford Station             December 2022

The chosen location for the Transport Hub is now hemmed in between a Student Accommodation block and the Station Medical Centre on Station Approach.  This location is now less than ideal to deliver in scale the facilities required for a future where greater reliance will be placed on connectivity using public transport and less on the private car.


A “transport interchange” enables journeys involving a train, bus and other modes of travel to be made effortlessly and seamlessly. For Hereford, this requires:

  1. all city and county bus services arriving/ leaving Hereford to either call or terminate at the Transport Hub

  2. a bus inter-change for passengers whose destination is other than Hereford city centre 

  3. departure point for all long-distance bus operators such as National Express

  4. departure point for rail replacement buses

  5. Hereford/ Herefordshire departure point for coach holiday companies

  6. departure point for the special bus service to Hay-on-Wye during the annual Hay Festival

  7. “drop-off” area for those arriving or departing by private car

  8. taxi rank

  9. vehicle parking

  10. cycle storage

  11. shelter for waiting bus passengers

  12. real-time bus information display boards

  13. refreshment and toilet facilities for waiting bus passengers  


We will test Herefordshire Council’s plans for the Transport Hub against the above criteria.


We are critical of the artistic licence used in illustrating the proposed Hub facilities.  The student accommodation block to the north and the Medical Centre to the south appear disproportionately small and remote.


For terminating services, the proposal contains four bus bays (there are twelve at the County bus station).  Four bus bays may be sufficient to cater for country bus services currently terminating in the station forecourt but not for those terminating at the County Bus station or for city services.


If there are to be bus services to/ from Hereford that do not have the “Hub” as a stop, these bus services and a connecting service (perhaps provided by a City Hopper bus service) need to be displayed in the Hub, both by the station entrance and adjacent to the bus stops on the Link Road from which the connecting service departs.


The bus stop on the Link Road will be busy with arriving and departing passengers.  There should be adequate shelter, together with seating for waiting passengers.  The open face of the bus shelter onto the street is to the west – the direction of the prevailing wind and rain.  Most city bus services have a frequency of less than once each 30 minutes, hourly is thought as being a good service, so waiting for a bus needs to be made attractive (in all weathers).


Those arriving at Hereford by train require comfortable accommodation whilst waiting for their connecting bus. The proposals provide inadequate provision for waiting passengers.  They need to be made bigger to accommodate a greater number of people.


We applaud the covered/ secure cycle store, but it is too small.  Those leaving their bicycle at the Hub are leaving it there for the day, possibly into the evening.  The proposed scheme needs to include covered/ secure storage for all cycles, other than for the 5% who pop into the station to collect tickets/ make enquiries.  It is also key that there are safe cycle routes to/from the station connecting with the city’s urban settlements. Cycling to the station should become an attractive proposition for distances of up to 2.5 miles.  Bicycles are expensive and vulnerable to theft and vandalism.  Owners will be reluctant to leave them anywhere all day, unless there is secure storage in the dry.   


We support the separation of terminating buses from taxis, the “drop-off” area and car park.   The benefit of the DIRO (Drive in, Reverse out) design is that once at the Hub there are no roads to be crossed, or curbs to be negotiated.  We are concerned that the taxi parking area/ drop-off point/ short term parking for enquiries and collecting prepaid tickets is not large enough.


Refreshment and toilet facilities.  We are confused as to where these are to be located.  One suggestion is the erection of a street-side extensions to the present station building, the café serviced by the station café staff. The staff accessing the extension through a new rear doorway from their current Platform 3 facility.  At the Town Hall exhibition refreshment and toilet facilities were said to be located in the waiting room “pod” in front of the four DIRO bus bays.  CTV protected.  Opening hours - Refreshments: we suggest 7am to 7pm.  Toilets: 24 hours.


The proposed modular buildings that make up the proposed “Hub” are not dissimilar to the Explore Station concept recently nationally consulted on by Network Rail that aims to incorporate sustainable design features.   A report was published in September 2022.  Please contact me if you would like a copy (57 pages, on which we have also commented).


We would be pleased to participate in any proposed ongoing stakeholder review panel, to discuss concepts and ideas prior to formal public consultation on your final plans.


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