The deadline for the submission of representations has now passed.
Please keep checking the news section for any further information.
As a number of you have been following the progress of the appeal regarding the proposed development of eight houses on Old Wrexham Road, we are writing to let you know the appeal inspector has issued a decision on that case. The inspector dismissed the appeal, upholding the council’s decision to refuse the development. The inspector’s decision is attached to this email, and it outlines the reasons for the dismissal.
The fact that the land in question adjoins the site of the proposed development on Vicarage Lane makes it of particular interest ahead of the forthcoming appeal regarding that site. We would encourage you all to have a read through the inspector’s decision on the Old Wrexham Road site as we feel so many of the issues dealt with there are equally applicable to the site on Vicarage Lane. Specifically, the inspector gave three main reasons for dismissing the appeal:
(Direct quotes from the appeal decision are highlighted in bold text)
- The development would be outside the settlement limit and would ‘represent both a physical and visual incursion into what is currently an area of open countryside’. The inspector also found that ‘by virtue of its scale and nature, the development proposed would urbanise and injuriously alter the rural characteristics of the appeal site, to the detriment of the character and appearance of its countryside setting’. The development would therefore be contrary to policies PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, GDP1, and H5 of the WCBC Unitary Development Plan, and would conflict with the national planning policies set out in Planning Policy Wales (Edition 10, 2018).
- The development would constitute inappropriate development within, and would be detrimental to the openness of the Green Barrier. It would therefore be contrary to policy EC1 of the WCBC Unitary Development Plan and the policies contained within Planning Policy Wales (Edition 10, 2018). Moreover, the inspector found that the contribution the development would make to the housing land supply did ‘not comprise the very exception circumstances necessary to clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Barrier or indeed the wider policies designed to protect the countryside’.
- The development would ‘unacceptably increase the threat to pedestrian safety’. In particular, the inspector noted that there would not be a sufficiently safe pedestrian route to the centre of the village as ‘there is not a convenient anduninterrupted pedestrian footway between the appeal site and Chester Road’. The inspector also commented that, due to the prevalence of on-street parking along Old Wrexham Road, ‘parked vehicles materially reduce the width of the carriageway and constitute an obstruction to pedestrians’. The inspector therefore concluded that ‘the appeal site would inevitably intensify the use of Old Wrexham Road by both vehicles and pedestrians and would therefore exacerbate the foregoing problems, to the detriment of pedestrian safety’. The development would therefore be in conflict with policies PS4, GDP1(d)(e), and T9 of the WCBC Unitary Development Plan, the policies set out in Planning Policy Wales (Edition 10, 2018), and the guidance set out in Welsh Government Technical Advice Note 18: Transport (TAN18).
As you can see, there are clear parallels here with the proposed development on Vicarage Lane, which was refused by WCBC on the grounds that:
- it would be unacceptable development outside of the settlement limit and within the Green Barrier and a Special Landscape Area, and
- the lack of a continuous footway and the increase in vehicular and pedestrian traffic generated by the development would be detrimental to pedestrian safety.
We would therefore encourage you to take note of the Old Wrexham Road appeal decision and to refer to the findings of the inspector when the time comes to make your representations as part of the appeal regarding the Vicarage Lane site.
As yet, we still have not received any more information on the timetable for the Vicarage Lane appeal, but be assured that we will inform you as soon as we know anything. We will also be updating the Latest News section of our website with any further developments/information.
As always, if you have any comments or questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Vicarage Lane Action Group
As you may already know, the developers who are looking to build on Vicarage Lane have lodged an appeal against the council’s decision to refuse their planning application.
The appeal form was received by the Planning Inspectorate last week, and we expect it will be validated at some point this week. The form can be viewed by logging on to the WCBC Planning Portal using the link below and searching for planning application reference P/2018/1063. It is available in the ‘Documents’ tab of the planning case file. Please visit http://planning.wrexham.gov.uk/Planning/lg/GFPlanningWelcome.page to search the WCBC online planning portal.
If you lodged an objection against theriginal planning application, WCBC should shortly be writing to you to with details of the appeal and the appeal process. This correspondence should include all the information you will need on how to make your views on development known to the inspector. We will also make sure to keep everyone informed of how they can comment on the appeal and all the relevant deadlines.
You will notice from the appeal application form that the developer has requested that the appeal take the form of a hearing. It is ultimately for the inspector to decide what form the appeal assessment will take. If it is decided to take the case to a hearing, this will involve a public meeting during which the inspector will ask questions of the appellant and the local planning authority. Members of the public and interested third parties are entitled to attend the hearing and the inspector will also usually ask if anyone else present wishes to speak about the appeal application. In short, if a hearing is held, you will have a chance to speak and make your views known.
In addition to speaking at the hearing, you will also be able to make your views known to the inspector in writing. All the written representations that were made by members of the public and other consultees as part of the original planning application will be passed to the inspector for consideration during the appeal. However, you will also have the opportunity make additional written representations regardless of whether you commented on the original planning application. These can be submitted via the Planning Inspectorate online portal. We hope that the forthcoming letter from WCBC will make us all aware of the timescales involved for submitting these representations, and we will keep everyone informed once more information is available. We will also provide a guide on how to submit your representations once the time comes.
As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to get in touch and we will keep you updated as things progress.
Vicarage Lane Action Group
As someone who registered an objection against the proposed development of 44 houses on Vicarage Lane, Gresford through the Vicarage Lane Action Group website, we are writing to inform you that the planning application is scheduled to be determined by WCBC Planning Committee at their next meeting on 29th July.
Having spoken to the planning officer dealing with the case, she has said that the application will go to committee with a recommendation for approval. However, this does not necessarily mean that the application will be approved; the decision will ultimately be made by councillors who sit on the planning committee. All members of the public are entitled to attend the committee meeting, and we would therefore encourage you to attend if you can. A strong public attendance is important in demonstrating the strength of feeling that exists within the community concerning this application.
The meeting will take place in the Council Chamber in The Guildhall, Wrexham, LL11 1AY at 4pm Monday 29th July.
Please do circulate this information to anyone you feel may be interested, and please see if you are able to attend the committee meeting in person – it is so important to show that the community is broadly opposed to this development and that it is regarded as inappropriate for the location.
Should any further information become available, or should any details change, we shall be sure to keep you informed.
Vicarage Lane Action Group
As far as we are aware the marking out work which is currently being done in the field is something to do with the archaeological investigation.
To view a copy of the consultation response from Highways Click Here.
This is a copy of the letter of objection that has been submitted on behalf of the Action Group — VLAG Objection Letter.
We have been informed by Wrexham Maelor Borough Council that the deadline for objections has been extended until 2nd February 2019.
There have now been a total of over 180 objections submitted through this website.
Wrexham C B C
Environment and Planning
16 Lord Street,
Gresford Community Council
Clerk to the Council
Vicarage Lane Action Group