Plans for 600 new homes in Wrexham backed for approval despite strong community objections
Plans to create an extra 600 homes in Wrexham have been backed for approval despite strong community objections.
Barratt Homes and Bloor Homes previously entered a bid to create a major housing development on land off Holt Road on the outskirts of the town.
The site between Wrexham Rugby Club and the roundabout by Wrexham Golf Club forms part of a wider area, which has been identified by Wrexham Council as suitable for up to 1,680 new houses in its Local Development Plan (LDP).
The application is set to be considered by the local authority’s planning committee at a crunch meeting next week and has been recommended to go ahead by a senior officer.
It follows claims that it will help to address the demand for housing in the county borough.
However, opponents say the development will place a large strain on local services.
Those objecting include three community councils, 23 neighbouring residents and Rhosnesni councillor Mike Davies.
Members of Acton Community Council said the area’s schools and GP surgeries would not be able to accommodate the proposed population growth.
In their representations to the committee, they said: “There are two GP practices at Borras Park and Strathmore Surgery on Chester Road.
“There is a shortage and no other land identified to provide new or additional GP surgeries to meet increased demand and public health needs.
“This is contrary to the Wales Spatial Plan’s Area Framework for North East Wales which seeks to ensure there is good access to services such as health for users and workers across the area.
“The three existing primary schools in the Acton community are oversubscribed and at capacity.
“The community council is of the view that any large scale expansion of housing without matching learning infrastructure will be inadequate.”
The Welsh Government’s rural affairs department has also submitted a conditional objection because of the loss of agricultural land, which it described as a matter of “national significance”.
Around 57 representations have also been received in support of the scheme.
It includes comments from people wishing to either relocate within the county borough or return to the area.
The council’s chief planning officer has recommended for councillors to approve the plans subject to conditions requiring a fifth of the site to be allocated as affordable housing and for money to be paid towards schools.
In his report, Lawrence Isted said around 7,750 new homes would need to be built in Wrexham as part of the LDP, which is currently still under consideration, in light of a “persistent undersupply” between 2013 and 2019.
He said: “Were this application subject to any significant further delay in determination or if it were refused, then it is highly unlikely that the delivery of all 600 dwellings will be achievable by 2028.
“This would put the delivery of the LDP as a whole at considerable risk.
“Taking all of the above into account, the need to increase housing supply in the county borough and to deliver a strategically significant site weigh heavily in favour of the proposal.
“In acknowledgement that there is an urgent need to increase the supply of housing in the county borough, it would be appropriate to require reserve matters for a first phase of development to be submitted within 12 months of the date of permission being granted and for development to commence on site within three years.”
The application will be considered by the committee at a virtual meeting being held on Monday .
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter
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