Our case against the proposal is best summed up by listing below some of the points raised by us at the Community Council Meeting on 03/01/2019.
Proposed development is contrary to a number of policies in the WCBC Unitary Development Plan (UDP)
- Proposed site is outside the settlement limit (PS1; H5)
- Proposed site is within the Green Barrier (EC1)
- Proposed site is within a Special Landscape Area (EC5)
- Proposed site is BMV Grade 3a agricultural land (PS3; EC2)
- The proposed development will involve the removal of most of an important hedgerow (EC4)
Site has already been considered inappropriate previously
- Proposed site was previously considered inappropriate for development in the Wrexham Unitary Development Plan Public Deposit Edition – Summary of Representations and Responses, May 2001
- Proposed site rejected as a candidate site (GRE15CS) along with an adjacent site (GRE08CS) in the LDP Preferred Strategy Stage Site Register, February 2016
- In 2015 an application for 20 retirement bungalows at Trewythen Hall (P/2014/0815) was dismissed on appeal as it was considered to be inappropriate development within the Green Barrier.
The proposed development would cause congestion and safety issues on Vicarage Lane and the Chester Road/Old Wrexham Road junction
- The development is forecast to generate between around 254 and 335 additional traffic movements per day on Vicarage Lane. This would represent a significant increase of between 26% and 35% on current traffic volumes.
- This increase in traffic volume could even be added to in time as the construction of over 350 houses in Llay will exacerbate the already well known trend of people using Vicarage Lane as a rat run to the Industrial Estate.
- We should also factor in the increase in traffic on the Chester Road junction arising from the planning permission granted for 12 houses on the Old Caravan Site, Old Wrexham Road.
- Added to this, Vicarage Lane is used frequently by agricultural vehicles, HGVs, and can be brought to a standstill by a simple delivery or small DIY job.
- WCBC Highways Department have already expressed concerns over the level of potential traffic to be generated by the new development in their Pre-Application Consultation response.
- Highways Dept also consider the new traffic mitigation measures on the Vicarage Lane/Chester Road junction to be ‘unacceptable’ and consider that these measures will create additional problems and potential congestion at that junction (see plans). (WCBC Consultation Response, 18th September 2018)
- Highways Dept have therefore indicated that they could not support the planning proposal.
- Many residents have expressed concern about traffic generation and pedestrian safety, and have noted that incidents on the road often go unreported.
- At a residents meeting held at the Memorial Hall on 3rd September, people were asked to fill in contact/comment forms. This exercise generated 32 comments with objections, 27 of which raised concerns over highways.
- Of the 24 comments sent to J10 Planning during the pre-application consultation period, 21 raised concerns over highways.
- This demonstrates the level of concern local residents have over the impact on highways.
- The developer has, however, largely ignored the concerns expressed by residents in their Pre-Application Consultation Report, instead insisting the development will not cause highways issues.
- Residents should – and do – feel aggrieved that these concerns are being ignored. Traffic surveys and modelling are no substitute for the daily experience of local residents.
Proposed development will put additional pressure on already stretched local health services
- On 23rd August 2018, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board made a response to a consultation on a planning proposal for 132 houses in Rossett. The Board noted that Alyn Family Doctors, which has surgeries in Rossett, Llay, and Gresford and serves approximately 13,000 patients, ‘is under pressure’ and that ‘any additional patient demand will increase existing pressures’.
The proposed development will adversely affect the local environment and ecology
- Removal of important hedgerow has already been mentioned.
- As has loss of grade 3a agricultural land and the fact that proposed site is within the Green Barrier.
- Local residents note that the ecology report submitted as part of the planning application is not representative. That the proposed site is important habitat for badgers and bats has not been properly noted by the developer’s environment consultants.
- The development will destroy an important field margin.
- Vicarage Lane liable to flooding beyond Trewythen Hall, and will be exacerbated by run off from new development.
- Traffic calming measures will increase traffic emissions.
- Development would be contrary to WCBC Biodiversity Action Plan.
- The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales have indicated that they will oppose the development.
- In summary:
- Development is contrary to a number of UDP policies
- Site has already been considered inappropriate previously
- The proposed development would cause congestion and safety issues on Vicarage Lane and the Chester Road/Old Wrexham Road junction
- Proposed development will put additional pressure already stretched local health services
- The proposed development will adversely affect the local environment and ecology
- IMPORTANTLY: The proposed development would set a dangerous precedent for the potential development of other greenfield sites around Gresford which lie outside the settlement limit.
- Proposed development will destroy rural character of Gresford – we need to protect it for the future.