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FEARS that plans for 51 new houses in a Wrexham village could lead to a loss of privacy have been dismissed.
It follows proposals for land surrounding the Llay Royal British Legion Club being approved by councillors in Wrexham.
Outline permission for the scheme was originally granted in March 2019, along with the creation of a convenience store and boxing club.
Politicians backed the plans by a narrow margin despite hearing concerns about the impact on health services.
Wrexham Council’s planning committee met again yesterday afternoon (Monday, 26 July) to consider a reserved matters application outlining the layout and appearance of the development.
During the virtual meeting, two Llay community leaders expressed their discontent over how close the proposed properties would be to existing houses opposite the site on Watts Dyke.
Cllr Rob Walsh said: “My concern is that if we went ahead with this and it was too overbearing, it’s too late once the properties are built.
“I’m seriously concerned that even though there’s some discretion, once it’s up, it’s up.
“I do feel these guidelines are there for a reason, and we shouldn’t dismiss them lightly.
“Personally, I’d be happy if the houses were just a few metres further back.”
The initial plans were submitted by the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) headquarters in London.
It came despite objections from members of the local RBL branch, who said it could lead to the club’s closure, although the building itself does not form part of the proposals.
The latest submissions were made by Watkin Jones Homes, which is taking the development forward.
It was supported by a council planning officer, who said houses in the area already suffered from a loss of privacy.
Matthew Phillips said: “I visited the site this afternoon and if you walk along Watts Dyke, you get a clear view into the front of those properties.
“Those areas are not private, nor are the windows to the front of those properties.
“Introducing dwellings opposite does not adversely impact upon the privacy of those properties.”
However, Cllr Bryn Apsley, who also represents the village, said he disagreed with the officer.
He said: “I regularly walk down Watts Dyke, probably mostly going to the Legion, but I do pass the bungalows.
“If I stood outside the bungalow staring into the windows, I’d probably be arrested.
“There’s a difference between driving past in a car, or walking past as a pedestrian, than there is to having windows directly opposite the houses.”
Cllr I David Bithell voiced concerns over the lack of a play area in the plans and the potential safety hazard posed by the location of a drainage pond.
But the application was approved by ten votes to one with five abstentions at the end of the debate.

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