Glyndwr University officially submits appeal over controversial Wrexham housing schemes
A university has officially launched an appeal over the refusal of two controversial housing schemes in Wrexham.
Glyndwr University received backing for seven out of nine planning applications related to its Campus 2025 project last year.
However, bids to create a combined total of 186 houses on land in New Broughton and Rhosnesni were turned down because of concerns over traffic and the loss of open space.
The university said it wanted to sell the respective sites on Gatewen Road and Holt Road to raise money for campus improvements worth £60 million.
It has now formally lodged an attempt to have the two decisions made by Wrexham Council’s planning committee overturned.
In documents submitted to the Planning Inspectorate relating to the New Broughton proposals, real estate firm Narvo Asset Management confirmed the university was seeking to have both matters dealt with via a joint inquiry.
The company’s director Andrew Smith said: “The appellant considers that a public inquiry would be the most appropriate appeal procedure in this case.
“The proposals are for a relatively large housing scheme, and the evidence will need to explore the interaction between the extant and emerging development plans as well as the housing land supply position.
“The transport evidence is likely to be of a highly technical nature.
“Whilst each individual site has specific issues there is merit in seeking to co-join this appeal with an application on an additional parcel of land owned by Glyndwr University
“Both sites are owned by the appellant and their disposal is part of an on-going programme to generate capital receipts which will be spent by Glyndwr University on redeveloping and improving the operational estate of the university.”
The New Broughton plans were met with criticism from a council highways officer because of the impact on the roads surrounding Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Meanwhile, the proposals for Holt Road were rejected after planning committee members were told of fears over the loss of a field which is regularly used by children for football matches.
The university promised to provide one replacement pitch at the site, but residents reacted angrily when it built a fence across the land following the refusal of the scheme.
People in both communities have vowed to continue their opposition against the housing proposals.
Following a meeting of campaigners held last weekend, Rhosnesni councillor Mike Davies said: “One of the main concerns [for residents] was that they don’t want that to be built there because they will lose a community field.
“If houses get built there and a football pitch gets built on the remainder of it, there will be no land left at all.
“Access to that field is a big local issue and we’re getting a lot of support.
“We believe we can successfully beat this planning application – we are serious in this and feel we have a good chance of winning.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter
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