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Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

Llay farm shop plans look set to be refused due to ‘unsustainable’ location

PLANS to build a farm shop on the outskirts of a village in Wrexham look set to be refused due to the “unsustainable” location.

An application to create a 262-square-metre shop and cafe in a field off the Straight Mile in Llay is due to be considered by councillors next week.

The proposals have been put forward by the owners of Rackery Farm, a 100-acre dairy farm located in nearby Burton.

The agricultural business has already expanded previously by creating a luxury glamping site known as Rackery Retreat.

According to planning documents, the new shop would sell local farm produce and also provide a meeting room for the community.

However, although the scheme has received the support of Llay Community Council, planning committee members have been advised to turn down the application.

In a report, Lawrence Isted, Wrexham Council’s chief planning officer, said: “The principle of a retail development in the open countryside is considered to be contrary to adopted policies of the Wrexham Unitary Development Plan.

“The proposal would not be classed as a major retail development, but policy on retail sales in the countryside sets a limit of 50m2 floorspace.

“The justification of the proposal as a farm diversification scheme is not considered to meet the requirements for exceptions to policy as the development is remote from the farmstead and camping site, being 1.2km by foot and 1.9km by vehicle.

“It is also 750m from the main part of the village, and whilst there is a new housing development on the east side of the village this is on the opposite side of a busy class II road subject to a 50mph speed limit.

“Therefore, the proposed development is not considered to be sustainably located either in relation to the farm and camping site or to the village.”

Despite the recommendation, the plans have also been backed by Llay councillor Bryan Apsley.

He said the development would be welcomed and “bring benefits” to the wider community.

But Mr Isted added: “Experience has shown that such premises where they are separate from the farm tend to grow into large commercial ventures.

“The proposal would be contrary to the planning strategy to confine development to established towns and main settlements and prevent development in the countryside.”

The plans will be discussed at a meeting being held next Monday (July 5, 2021).


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