Developer refused permission for 110 homes in Denbigh vows it ‘will cost’ the council
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
A developer refused permission for 110 homes in Denbigh vows to charge the council costs when he “wins an appeal”, blaming electioneering councillors for a “rogue” decision.
Gwyn Jones is the chief executive of St Asaph-based Castle Green Homes, formerly Macbryde, and wanted to build the houses on land adjacent to Ysgol Pendref on Gwaenynog Road.
But Denbighshire County Council’s planning committee refused the application on Wednesday, despite the local authority selling Castle Green Homes the land before a decision was made.
Councillors voted 16-0 with one abstention in favour of refusing the application, citing loss of agricultural land, an over-intensification of development, highway safety and climate change as the reasons.
Several protests proceeded the meeting where some councillors even called for enforcement action to remove Castle Green Homes’ workers from the land. Councillors claimed the removal of hedgerow before the meeting was ‘vandalism’, despite an agreement between both parties.
Mr Jones says enforcement action to remove workers would be useless as the developers now own the land.
“They can’t (remove us). And we took the hedge out in consultation with the council,” he said.
“We’ve already commenced the appeal process proceedings. We will be going to appeal, and we will charge the council costs for it because it has been unnecessarily delayed.
“We’ve got a lot of local people who were ready to buy on this site, and it is just a shame that we are going to be delayed. Twenty percent of the site was affordable housing. So 20 of the houses were going to Denbighshire County Council as affordable housing for people who were homeless. They’ve just delayed all that now. It will go to appeal. It will cost the council. I don’t know where the decision in the committee came from.”
He added: “The only matter is that it is the April elections, and I know it has been unpopular with neighbouring residents. That is why we think we’ve got a rogue decision.”
Mr Jones explained Castle Green Homes had bought the land before a planning decision was made.
“It was a council-owned site that they’ve had allocated for 10 years for housing need. Twenty percent of the houses were going to local people,” he said.
“In Denbighshire, you’ve got people living in bedsits and temporary accommodation. We were going to provide 20 affordable houses for local people in Denbigh, and they’ve rejected it after selling the land to us.
“We own the field, and Denbighshire County Council have had the cheque for it. It came through a competitive tender. It was all formally brought to us and sold to us because it has been allocated (for housing), and the planning officers have recommended it for approval. The highways officers have got no objections. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.”
Denbighshire County Council was asked why the land was sold a month before a decision was due to be made by the planning committee.
A council spokesman commented: “The land was advertised for sale following the decision taken by cabinet on 20 October 2020.
“The sale was completed on 9 February 2022. The offer which was accepted was not conditional upon the developer first obtaining planning permission.”
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