AN appeal over the refusal of plans to build homes on an “eyesore” parcel of land next to a Wrexham business park has been dismissed.
Last year, Wrexham Council rejected proposals to demolish a derelict building near Riverside Business Park, which sits on the edge of the county boundary between Gwersyllt and Cefn y Bedd.
The scheme would have resulted in the creation of four semi-detached houses on the site off Mold Road, which was once home to a pub known as “The Old English Gentleman.”
More recently, the building in Sydallt was used as a conservatory sales office but has since closed and fallen into a state of disrepair.
The developers behind the plans said it would help to bring a site which has become a fly-tipping hot spot back into use after lodging an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in November.
However, the inspector appointed to oversee the case has now backed the local authority’s conclusions, highlighting the lack of amenities nearby.
In a report, Joanne Burston said: “Sydallt is a small settlement with only a very limited range of services which includes a community centre and a bus service which connects the settlement to Mold and Wrexham.
“It would be theoretically possible for future occupiers to walk or cycle to the neighbouring settlements, which is not far in distance terms.
“However, bearing in mind the nature of the narrow pavements next to a busy road with fast-moving traffic which is lacking pedestrian crossing points, these would be disincentives to journey even short distances on foot or by bicycle, especially during darker winter months or in inclement weather.
“Furthermore, considering the infrequency of bus services to shops and services, particularly after 6 pm, it seems even less likely that journeys would be made by sustainable modes.
“On this basis, I conclude that the development would not offer good connections to local facilities and services, which would therefore increase the need to travel by car for local journeys.”
Council officers had earlier refused permission for the plans as they said it was an unsuitable location for residential development.
Concerns were also raised over the potential impact on bats located near the site.
Ms Burston acknowledged that the current lack of housing land in Wrexham would possibly weigh in favour of the proposals.
However, she added: “I have concluded that the proposal would not satisfy planning policies with regard to the locational sustainability of the residential development and biodiversity, which carries significant weight against the appeal.
“Given this conflict, the policy support for a brownfield site is also lost.
“Whilst, I have found that the proposal would contribute to a healthy supply of housing which carries significant weight in favour of allowing the appeal, this does not outweigh the harm I have identified.”