What dreams are made of…

Sharon Chilcott visits an idyllic part of the Wye Valley to find out more about a local couple’s visionary plans… 

Sharon Chilcott

A stunning, secluded site on the slopes of Leys Hill, near Ross-on-Wye, has the potential to provide five dream family homes and the retirement (or relocation) that business owners Stella and Graham Mitchell dream of for themselves. 

The site, near Kerne Bridge on the River Wye, is set in the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has full planning permission for five distinctive and prestigious six-bedroom detached homes, designed by local architect Graham Frecknal. 

Each property will stand in its own plot of about ¾ acre and will take advantage of the superb scenery and mature landscaped grounds which currently surround the Wye Valley Spa and Club Cats, the ladies-only spa sanctuary and associated fitness club which Graham and Stella own and run.

“We’ve been here 31 years, now,” says Graham. “Initially we ran the site as the CATS children’s nursery. Over the years we developed to include a kids’ club, then we added leisure facilities for the parents and more recently we have been running it as a ladies-only sanctuary with separate personal training. Now we are ready to retire – or at least look for another business location. We are prepared to consider all things because we are a dynamic couple.” 

It’s taken about three years to get full planning permission on the site and the plans would see the couple’s existing home and business premises demolished to make way for one of the impressive new builds. “Although the houses will be superb, grand properties, all of them will be more than we would want,” says Graham. “My ideal would be to disappear into the sunset in a luxurious travel trailer, but realistically, that’s unlikely because Herefordshire’s a beautiful county and we’d inevitably stay on in this area!” 

He adds: “Leys Hill is a particularly lovely spot, especially for outdoor pursuits, and what’s fantastic about it is the views and the wildlife. You can see the meandering River Wye below; deer from our back kitchen window and the peregrine falcons when they are reeling round the Symonds Yat area.” 

Graham also points out that the location is very accessible for commuters. “It is within easy reach of the motorway network, convenient for Wales, Bristol, Birmingham and the Midlands. The fact that there will be no Severn Bridge tolls makes this area attractive to people who want to take advantage of the private schools in Monmouth and still commute to Bristol or even the south east.” 

Phil Smith of selling agents Roscoe Rogers and Knight in Monmouth said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a developer with real vision to construct five fabulous family homes in a stunning rural location, yet with easy access to Ross and Monmouth and the major road networks. Finished to a superior quality, I can see these homes each selling for a million pounds plus, and would expect them to be extremely desirable and sought after. There’s real demand in this area for high end properties like this and it’s a demand which has not being satisfied to date.” 

The five unique and stylish dwellings have been cleverly set on the broad strip of land which follows the contours of Leys Hill. All will enjoy exceptional far reaching views over the Wye Valley and will be accessed off the existing private tarmac driveway. The impressive house designs each provide six bedrooms, two of them with en-suites, plus three reception rooms, a study and a large open plan kitchen/dining area. Also included are utility and storage spaces; double garages with car turntables and personal lifts at the front entrances. Individual landscaped grounds and private gardens will provide the perfect backdrop for these superior properties. 

There’s more information available on the website http:// agoldenopportunity.info. Further details and drawings are available from the planning portal reference: P161689/F (Herefordshire Council) or from the office of Roscoe Rogers and Knight. 

Leys Hill Project, Ross on Wye, HR9 5QU is on the market for £1,650,000 with Roscoe Rogers and Knight, 3 Agincourt Square, Monmouth NP25 3BT.

Tel: 01600 772929

Email: enquiries@roscoerogersandknight.co.uk

Website: www.roscoerogersandknight.co.uk


Architect’s drawings courtesy Graham Mitchell and Graham Frecknal www.gfarchitects.co.uk Photos courtesy Graham Mitchell