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Social club demolition approved

05 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Bersham Sports and Social Club – Source Google

Plans to demolish a social club to build houses in its place have been given the green light.

An application to create nine new homes on the site of Bersham Sports and Social Club in Wrexham was discussed by councillors yesterday (Monday, 3 June).

The proposals to knock the building down were put forward by Rossett-based property rental company Trailwalk Limited in September last year.

In documents entered with Wrexham Council, the firm claimed the club on Bersham Road was struggling to run profitably and the development would help address a shortfall of new homes in the area.

The application was approved by members of the local authority’s planning committee despite some residents raising concerns over the loss of the community facility.

‘Not viable’

Speaking at a meeting at Wrexham’s Guildhall, planning officer Matthew Phillips said: “The site is within the settlement limit, so in terms of principle of development, it’s acceptable.

“We do have an LDP (Local Development Plan) policy which seeks to resist the loss of community facilities, which this development will inevitably do if it went ahead. However, there are certain criteria which need to be met.

“The applicant has put forward evidence that the existing business is not viable.

“In addition to that, there are a range of other facilities in the nearby locality. On that basis, the requirements of the policy are met.”

He added: “The education department has confirmed that financial contributions will be required and that can be secured by an obligation.

“The recommendation is that subject to the submission of amended plans to address a highway issue and the planning obligation, that permission is granted.”

Traffic

A total of 11 representations were received from neighbours regarding the application.

Concerns raised included that it would cause an increase in traffic, while one person said it would lead to Bersham becoming “one big housing estate”.

However, the council’s chief planning officer also said the scheme would be acceptable.

In a report published before the meeting, David Fitzsimon said: “The application is accompanied by financial evidence demonstrating that the existing facility has been in difficulty for some time.

“Business rates relief during the Covid pandemic appears to have assisted.

“However, increases in the cost of gas, electric and general products, together with the cost of business rates, have had a profound effect on the continued viability of the sports and social club.”

He added: “The proposed development is considered to be appropriate for the location and would not give rise to residential amenity, highway safety, ecology or flood risk concerns.

“It therefore accords with relevant national and local planning policies.”

The proposals were approved after ten councillors voted in favour, with three choosing to abstain.


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