Controversial housing plan rejected because it could harm medieval park remains
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
Controversial plans to build almost 100 new homes in Flintshire have been refused amid concerns it could harm the remains of a medieval park.
Elan Homes applied to develop an area of land in the village of Higher Kinnerton, which sits near the Cheshire border, in July last year.
The housing company said the proposals for 95 properties on a field close to Kinnerton Meadows would deliver “a quality residential environment”.
However, the scheme attracted opposition from the local community, who said an “excessive” amount of houses had already been built in the village.
A senior Flintshire Council official also revealed the site had been identified as falling partly within Llwydcoed Royal Park, a 14th-century park created by King Edward III.
While a report to the local authority’s planning committee acknowledged the exact boundary of the park was unknown, chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said the developers had failed to properly assess the impact on the archaeological remains.
His reservations were echoed by politicians at a virtual meeting held yesterday (Wednesday 3 March), with fears raised over the added demand on schools and GP surgeries.
Cllr Gladys Healey, who represents the nearby village of Hope, said: “It is outside the borders of Higher Kinnerton and this piece of land should remain as an asset for the village.
“It has been identified as being in a 14th century medieval park and as we all know, the primary schools and secondary schools are full at the moment.
“The doctors can’t cope because they are full to the brim, so I don’t know if Betsi Cadwaladr (health board) has been consulted on this.
“Secondly, we have got a flooding problem and our drains can’t cope with the amount that we have at the moment.”
The scheme attracted 60 objections ahead of the meeting, including representations from Higher Kinnerton Community Council and local councillor Mike Allport.
Community leaders said the area had already been subjected to an “exceptional” amount of development.
Mr Farrow also described the application as “premature” at a time when the council is waiting to have its Local Development Plan considered.
Meanwhile, Cllr Chris Bithell, the authority’s cabinet member for planning, said the development would be inappropriate due to its proximity to two Grade II-listed buildings at Kinnerton Lodge and Compton Hall.
He said: “We’ve already seen comments made in relation to the necessity to retain the siting of these particular listed buildings.
“Also, there’s the parkland and within the report we have repeated the comments made by a planning inspector in relation to the space between the village and development, which needs to be maintained.”
A total of 12 councillors supported the recommendation to refuse the application, with none voting against and only one abstention from Cllr Mike Peers.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.