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Appeal launched over ‘ill-informed’ Wrexham takeaway plans refusal

AN appeal has been launched after a decision to refuse plans to turn an empty shop in Wrexham into a takeaway was slammed as “ill-informed”.
In April, councillors rejected an application to convert the former Auto Parts store in Rhosddu amid concerns over the impact on parking and traffic.
Fears were also raised that children at Rhosddu Primary School, which is a 300 metre walk away from the property on Holyrood Crescent, could order in fast food using online apps.
Members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee said it went against the local authority’s guidance that takeaways should not be located within 400 metres of a school.
However, Ian Bolshaw, who is behind the proposals, has now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in an attempt to have the decision overturned.
In an appeal statement, a consultant acting on his behalf took aim at politicians for denying permission for the scheme.
Justin Paul said: “The debate at committee was largely ill-informed and strayed into issues such as primary school pupils using mobile phones, ordering food and being handed food through the fence.
“The fact is that no evidence of any existing highway capacity, safety or congestion was presented by members because it simply does not exist.
“There is no way that the proposal would increase traffic in the area.
“Indeed, as one or two better-informed members pointed out during the debate, locating a takeaway here would result in less trips being made outside of the area to other takeaways.”
Planning officers had recommended the proposals for approval despite the council’s guidelines.
They argued that although the fast food joint would be open at lunchtime, primary-age children were unable to leave the school grounds.
Community leaders turned down permission after highlighting that pupils could still use online ordering apps to get food delivered to them.
Speaking at April’s meeting, Erddig councillor Paul Roberts said: “As far as I’m aware, the application site actually borders on to the school field.
“You say that children won’t be going out of the school, but technically they could order a bite to eat if that was feasible and they could be passed it over the fence.”
Mr Paul said the decision had “unnecessarily delayed” the plans, causing his client to incur extra costs.
He added: “The appellant has decided that he must seek some form of compensation for the additional expenditure caused through what he sees as the unreasonable behaviour of members, so a costs application is made.
“The planning committee offered no evidence to explain or justify their decision – instead the rationale put forward to refuse permission was based upon pure conjecture and unsubstantiated subjective opinions and not fact.”
A decision is expected to be made on the appeal by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.

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