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Demolition of TV comedian’s home approved

05 Jun 2024 3 minute read
An application was submitted in March 2023 to knock down the property on Chester Road in Rossett. Photo via Google

Plans to demolish the former home of comedian Russ Abbot to make way for ten new houses have been approved.

The decision comes despite opposition from residents over the destruction of the property in Rossett, which was once home to the Chester-born actor, best known for his self-titled sketch show.

Proposals by applicant Michael Cunningham to build houses on land next to the Rossett Hall Hotel on Chester Road were discussed by councillors yesterday (Monday, 3 June).

The development was backed by the majority of members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee, despite one village resident stating: “Russ Abbot used to live in the house. It would be a shame if it is knocked down.”

Portugal

It’s unclear how long Mr Abbot lived in the property for. Media reports suggest the 76-year-old currently resides in Portugal.

Rossett councillor Hugh Jones also raised concerns over the scheme due to the impact on road safety.

Speaking at the meeting at Wrexham’s Guildhall, the Conservative politician said: “This is a prime location at the very heart of the village and as such is the focus of a lot of interest. The community council overwhelmingly opposed the application.

“I have a number of concerns, one being the highways concerns. We’re spending a lot of time at the moment with highways discussing the impact of this particular junction.

“My other concern is in terms of the design and the layout. The siting of the houses reversing onto the road would be totally inappropriate in that particular area.”

Lack of affordable housing

Ross Shepherd, Rossett’s other representative on the council, also objected due to the impact on traffic and a lack of affordable housing included within the proposals.

However, the application was recommended for approval in a report to planning committee members.

In the document, the authority’s chief planning officer David Fitzsimon said the site would be acceptable in principle.

He said: “There are no Local Development Plan policies that prevent the demolition of an unlisted dwellings outside of a conservation area and the subsequent redevelopment of the site at a higher density. The principle of development is therefore acceptable.

“The closure of the existing access and associated re-instatement of a boundary wall would be an enhancement to the appearance of a relatively prominent located access within the conservation area.

“These improvements are considered to be sufficient to outweigh the low-level harm that would be caused by the formation of the new access.”

Questions were raised at the meeting over whether there was a need for councillors to visit the site to address some of their concerns.

But the suggestion was dismissed after committee members were told details such as access arrangements would be considered once a reserved matters application is submitted at a later date.

Officers said the proposals before them were only indicative and dealt mostly with the principle of the development.

The application was approved by a majority vote at the end of the debate.


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