PLANS to build a large warehouse at a factory in Chirk have been given the green light despite concerns over how it will impact on neighbours.
Kronospan applied in July to create a storage facility measuring 260 metres by 60 metres at its wood panel manufacturing plant on Holyhead Road.
The company said the purpose of the facility was to “improve the productivity” of the site.
Permission for the proposals was granted by members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee at a meeting held yesterday (Monday, 1 November).
The decision came despite objections being raised over the scale of the building, as well as the potential for extra traffic.
There were also fears that proposed changes to an embankment and the removal of trees could lead to noise and environmental issues.
Setting out concerns from within the community, Chirk town councillor Jackie Allen said: “The size and the height of the building would have detrimental visual impact on a substantial portion of Chirk, especially with its proximity to local residents.
“Any proposed increase in the number of vehicles using the existing entrance would impact on the weighbridge.
“Our concern is the weighbridge causes queuing traffic, which impacts on the site and roads throughout the town.
“The existing bund and mature trees offer a buffer zone to assist with noise reduction.
“To reduce the bund and remove some mature trees would have a negative noise impact and affect the local biodiversity.”
Earlier plans for a warehouse on the same part of the site were refused on appeal in 2000.
However, the local authority’s chief planning officer recommended the latest scheme for approval ahead of the meeting.
In a report, Lawrence Isted denied the suggestion that the building would have a negative impact on the area.
Chris Emery from Kronospan told councillors the warehouse would help the company to address supply issues.
He said: “We are facing enormous challenges in our supply chain and at the same time our customers are expecting just-in-time mix-load deliveries.
“To facilitate this, we need to store more of our products on site.
“Ultimately, we are trying to ensure our business is responding to our customers, helping us to remain competitive and a sustainable local employer.
“I understand that various reservations have been expressed about our application but I would stress that the visual impact from Chirk is minimal.”
Chirk South councillor Terry Evans called for committee members to visit the site to see the issues raised.
The suggestion was echoed by the town’s other council representative Frank Hemmings.
But Cllr Graham Rogers was among those who voiced support for the plans.
He said: “I’ve got no objection at all in relation to what’s been proposed.
“Kronospan is a large employer within the borough of Wrexham and if this application is approved, it will secure the long term prospects as far as the organisation is concerned.
“I don’t have a problem at all in supporting the officer’s recommendation.”
Councillors voted against carrying out a site visit by nine votes to eight at the end of the debate.
The proposals were then approved by a margin of twelve votes to five, with one abstention.