Controversial housing plan could be binned over fears it could harm medieval park remains
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A controversial plan to build almost 100 new homes could be thrown out amid fears it could harm the remains of medieval park.
An application was submitted in July last year to develop an area of land west of Kinnerton Meadows in Higher Kinnerton, Flintshire.
Elan Homes said the proposals for 95 properties would deliver “a quality residential environment”.
However, the site has been identified as falling partly within Llwydcoed Royal Park, a 14th-century park established by King Edward III.
While Flintshire Council has acknowledged the exact boundary of the park is unknown, officials said the developers had not provided enough information to assess the potential impact on the archaeological remains.
In a report to councillors, the local authority’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said: “The submitted heritage statement discusses the possibility that part of the site falls within the boundary of Llwydcoed Royal Park, a 14th-century park established by King Edward III.
“The statement outlines that there is currently no archaeological evidence to support the identification of the medieval park boundary within the development boundary.
“The applicant has suggested that the standard archaeological watching brief condition would be sufficient to deal with that matter.
“However, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust has considered the proposals’ impact upon the potential archaeological asset and conclude that the proposed development will disturb any sub‐surface remains surviving at the site.
“It is impossible to estimate how damaging this might be. They recommend that a geophysical survey is undertaken prior to the determination of any application.
“Given the above, it is considered that the application is not supported by sufficient information to show compliance with planning policy.”
The plans had already proved unpopular in the village after the building firm was previously given permission to construct 56 houses nearby on appeal.
The latest scheme has drawn objections from 60 residents ahead of a planning committee meeting to decide on the proposals next week amid concerns about the impact on roads and schools.
Members of Higher Kinnerton Community Council and local councillor Mike Allport have also said that the area has already been subjected to an “exceptional” amount of development.
Meanwhile, Mr Farrow described the application as “premature” at a time when the council is waiting to have its Local Development Plan (LDP) examined.
He said: “There is insufficient evidence to identify the need to bring forward this speculative site outside the settlement boundary of Kinnerton, and it would be premature to approve this application in advance of the LDP process.
“In addition, the site is an important green open space within the setting of Kinnerton Lodge and currently to offer a sense of separation from the rest of the village.
“Given the above summary of the main issues and having carefully assessed those in the planning balance, I recommend refusal accordingly.”
The scheme will be considered by planning committee members at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 3.