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Councillors urged to withdraw objections to controversial 600-home development

03 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Barratt Homes and Bloor Homes previously entered a bid to create a major housing development on land off Holt Road, Wrexham. Photo via Google

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

Councillors have been asked to consider withdrawing their objections to controversial plans for 600 new homes.

Permission for the major development on land off Holt Road was rejected by Wrexham Council’s planning committee in July 2020 amid concerns over the impact on roads, schools and GP surgeries.

Housing companies Barratt and Bloor Homes, which are behind the scheme, launched an appeal against the decision in May the following year as they said the proposals were crucial to meet a local need for housing.

The appeal now finally looks set to be examined by an inspector from Planning and Environment Decisions Wales.

Ahead of the crunch decision, planning committee members are being requested by officers from the local authority to revoke their opposition.

Local Development Plan

It follows a number of recent events, including the approval of Wrexham’s Local Development Plan, in which the proposals are part of a key strategic site for housing.

Chief planning officer David Fitzsimon said in a report going to councillors next week that the council was no longer in a position to be able to defend the reasons for refusing the application.

He said: “There have been significant changes in circumstance since the planning application was refused in July 2020 which would have a significant impact on the ability of the council to defend the appeal.

“The site lay outside of the settlement limit for Wrexham and was situated in a green barrier as defined in the Unitary Development Plan (UDP).

“However, the site is located within the settlement limit and is allocated for residential development in the LDP, forming part of the key strategic site allocation.

“There is therefore no longer any policy objection in principle to the development.”

Rvised plans submitted to Wrexham Council for 600 houses on land off Holt Road (L) and the origianl plans. Image Planning documents

The planning committee voted almost unanimously to dismiss the proposals when they were first considered.

It followed Rhosnesni councillor Mike Davies highlighting that local GP practices were struggling to cope with the number of patients on their books.

Loss of agricultural land

The Welsh Government’s rural affairs department objected because of the loss of agricultural land.

However, Mr Fitzsimon said those issues had also been addressed since 2020.

He said: “Following the receipt of the LDP inspectors’ report, the Department for Climate Change were asked for an updated consultation response to the application. The department confirmed they raise no objection to the development.

“The health board were asked to confirm their current position in relation to this development proposal in October 2023. T

“The health board advised that they did not intend to object. They also did not advance any evidence to demonstrate that financial contributions are necessary to fund additional physical capacity in the primary care sector.”

It was initially expected that the appeal would be decided by the planning inspector following an inquiry being held.

But Mr Fitzsimon said it could now be considered through either written
representations or an informal hearing, with submissions required by April 24, 2024.

Councillors will be asked to discuss whether to withdraw their objections at a planning meeting at Wrexham’s Guildhall on Monday (April 8, 2024).

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Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
6 days ago

These houses will likely function as a cheap option for residents wanting to live near Chester and will likely have little function as part of Wrexham.

6 days ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

We all bring something new to the conversation, I think from now on you should bring silence.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 days ago
Reply to  TomTom82

I respect your opinion as I do with Richard on this issue.
However there are a couple of other contributors on this platform who would be better bringing silence.
There again some people could say the same about You and I.

6 days ago
Reply to  TomTom82

Reply to Tom.Tom 82
That is rude!!. Richard Davies is making a valid point. Do your research and you will realise and understand his argument

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
5 days ago
Reply to  Jay

Johnny & Jay, thank you for your support. I also recognise and respect that other people have different opinions to mine. When I do comment, I add links to other websites that provide evidence to back up what I say, if I think it is necessary. TomTom82, you are entitled to your opinion, just as everyone else is, as long as moderators deem it acceptable. There are plenty of articles on Nation.Cymru where I haven’t made any comment as others have usually already stated what I would’ve said so wouldn’t (on those occasions) have “added anything to the conversation.” So,… Read more »

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