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Planning committee set to consider multi-million-pound educational engineering centre

A multi-million-pound Rhyl-based educational engineering centre will be decided by a planning committee next week.

If permission is granted by Denbighshire County Council’s planning committee, the Coleg Llandrillo building is set to become a world-class hub for the engineering sector.

Based on Cefndy Road, the centre will help students prepare for careers in the industry in areas such as renewable energy and additive manufacturing.

The plans include an institute for renewable energy technology, and the centre has been backed by RWE Renewables, the international company responsible for North Wales’ wind farms.

The college has applied for permission for a change of use for the land, which is currently grassland but marked for educational and industrial use. The plans will include the construction of an internal site access road and car park, together with landscaping and associated works at the existing Rhyl college campus.

Dafydd Evans, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai chief executive, said: “We very much hope that we’ll be given the go-ahead to bring this fantastic facility and centre of excellence in the field of engineering to our Rhyl campus.

“The new development will provide learners in the region with the ability to learn and train with the latest technology in a state-of-the-art learning environment. This will stand them in good stead to pursue well-paid careers in industries such as power generation and advanced manufacturing.

“Our vision for this centre is that it operates in partnership with industry, providing people with the skills required to support economic growth and innovation in the sector in North Wales.”

But Mr Wyn Williams of Marine Holiday Park on Cefndy Road fears the development could lead to a serious accident on ‘a fast and busy road’.

In a letter objecting to the plans, he wrote: “I once again would strongly request that this application is refused in its current manner due to road safety.

“Unfortunately, we feel that there is a very high risk of a serious road accident and a possible fatality.

“In light that our concerns have not been addressed, we strongly oppose this development due to safety on the highway. We see this every day and are possibly the best people to comment. Please do not underestimate the risk here that could be averted.”

But the council’s highways department has calculated the extra number of trips the further education building would generate whilst considering the added number of students.

Denbighshire’s highways department estimated an additional 29 two-way trips in the morning peak hour and an additional 16 two-way trips during the afternoon peak hour. The highways report concluded: “This is unlikely to have a material impact on the local highway network.”

Accessibility and site access for the plans are also considered to be acceptable, despite some conditions being placed on additional car parking.

A full council recommendation is yet to be minded to approve or reject, but the application will go before the planning committee next Wednesday, November 10.

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