AN appeal has been launched after permission for a major housing development in Wrexham was turned down.
The application for 600 houses on land off Holt Road was rejected by councillors last July amid concerns over the impact on roads, schools and GP surgeries.
The plot sits off a large roundabout opposite Wrexham Golf Club and forms one of they key sites in Wrexham Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP), which is currently being considered by inspectors.
Officers from the local authority had recommended the scheme put forward jointly by Barratt and Bloor Homes for approval, despite strong objections from the community.
The two developers have now lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to overturn the decision by planning committee members, as well as submitting a new, revised application to the council.
Consultants acting on behalf of the companies said the scheme was crucial to meeting the housing needs of people in the county borough.
In an appeal statement, they said: “Very significant weight should be given to the emerging LDP and its associated evidence base, which WCBC considers to be sound and is at an advanced stage of preparation following its to independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate.
“The delivery of housing allocation KSS2, of which the appeal site forms part, is key to the success of the emerging LDP and goes to the heart of the development strategy of the county borough.
“The importance of the appeal site is such that a failure to deliver KSS2 could result in the failure of the LDP itself, and consequently the development needs of the area would not be met.
“The necessary sequential exercise necessary to satisfy Planning Policy Wales and justify the loss of best and most versatile agricultural land has been adequately undertaken, and there is no evidence to demonstrate that the proposed development will have a harmful impact upon local healthcare facilities.
“The benefits of the proposed development are significant, through the delivery of much needed market and affordable housing where these needs are currently not being met.”
The council’s planning committee voted almost unanimously to dismiss the proposals at last year’s meeting.
It followed a community leader highlighting that local GP practices were already struggling to cope with the number of patients on their books.
Rhosnesni councillor Mike Davies said: “Many practices are experiencing considerable sustainability challenges largely due to staffing shortages and difficulty in recruitment – that situation is not going to improve.
“The local surgery is already undergoing massive problems, which you may or may not be aware about.”
Three community councils and 23 neighbouring residents also opposed the plans, while the Welsh Government’s rural affairs department objected because of the loss of agricultural land.
A decision will be made on the appeal at a later date, as well as the revised application.
The latest submissions to the council include the same number of houses, but with changes to the road layout and other aspects of the proposals.