Posted: Wed 28th Feb 2024

Plans to Build Ten New Homes on Derelict Farm in Wrexham Facing Refusal, Citing Environmental Concerns

North Wales news and information

PLANS to build ten new homes on a derelict farm in a Wrexham village look set to be refused.
An application was put forward to demolish existing farm buildings on the Gamford House site in Rossett in July 2023 to replace them with houses.
Developers behind the scheme said it would help bring a site which has stood empty for over a decade back into use, with the new properties having a net zero carbon rating.
Several previous bids to redevelop the old pig farm on Gamford Lane have been rejected.
A senior planning official from Wrexham Council has now recommended permission should also be denied for the latest proposals submitted by Urban Developments Limited.
It comes after concerns were raised that it could harm the rural character of the area and have a negative impact on a protected species of newts.
The application would result in the demolition of the main farmhouse, along with several workshops, barns and pens, and is due to be considered by the local authority’s planning committee next week.
In a report to councillors, Wrexham’s chief planning officer David Fitzsimon said: “The proposed development must be considered in light of current policies, which do not provide for the development of new clusters of housing development in the countryside.
“The site comprises of a detached farmhouse together with a significant number of vacant buildings.
“Despite some of the existing buildings having last been used for industrial and storage purposes, in terms of scale and appearance they are similar to those found in other large farm complexes in the locality and are likely to have been originally constructed for that purpose.
“The site therefore retains a largely agriculture appearance and is also viewed in the context of an agricultural landscape.
“Whilst the overall standard of design would be high, the layout, form and appearance of the development would be urban in character, being at odds with the rural character of the surrounding area.”
Natural Resources Wales has raised objections to the proposals after a previous survey identified the presence of great crested newts in the area.
Mr Fitzsimon said he agreed that not enough information had been provided to show the plans would not harm the protected species.
Two letters of support have been received for the application stating the site is in an “extremely dangerous” condition and should be brought back into use.
Writing in favour of the scheme, agents acting on behalf of the developers said: “The redevelopment of this previously developed site would enhance the character of this sustainable location and remove a blight on the character of the area.
“Public consultation on the proposals was undertaken in October 2022 and May 2023 with the co-operation of the Rossett Community Council and Wrexham Council community agents.
“The outcome was overwhelmingly in favour of a residential and office scheme on the site, with particular support indicated for the carbon zero credentials of the proposals.”
Councillors will make a final decision on the application at a meeting on Monday (March 4, 2024).

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter



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