Shame on Councillors to refuse planning permission

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    Council Watcher

    Looking at the report just posted by a number of the Councilors should be ashamed about their comments about the people who could potentially benefit from this type of accommodation.

    If the developer had put in an application for accommodation for people with dementia or Alzheimer would the Council Members have objected? Unfortauanlayt people (and it can be any age) with these two conditions are equally likely to walk in front of a train when they have a memory loss or episode of not recognising danger. The Members are more late to accept an establishment with ‘patients’ that have these conditions as they feel they probably know someone who has it but are unsure about the development as they do not know anyone with mental health problems.

    This is NIMBY (Not in my backyard) at it’s best from a group of people who have a total disregard with no compassion.

    Between 1:4 and 1:6 people will have some form of mental health episode in a year- that is between 10- 12 Council Members will themselves face this issue to varying degrees and the same with their partners and relatives.

    Question to ALL Council Members – where do you want to go and be treated if you are one of the unfortunate statistics?



    Made for pretty grim reading to be honest. Way to stigmatise people with mental health issues.


    Rex Ham

    Having read a bit about this application, it saddens me to read of it’s refusal. The nettle needs to be grasped and this appears to be a well constructed and presented plan to help vulnerable people who are too often marginalised. A missed opportunity WCBC.



    I’ve a full set of pre-planning documents relating to this.
    To be honest I’d be very concerned if it got approved.
    Just the last week or so we’ve seen examples of planning applications that don’t reflect the intended purpose of properties.
    This site has poor access, with weather and traffic issues, which were glossed over in the documents, along with many other factors that contribute to it being a poor choice of site for something of this nature.
    The plans also appear to indicate it’s not designed as a purely low risk unit, despite what might be being said.
    The document didn’t instil any confidence in the company concerned.



    Some of the comments I couldn’t quite believe came out of the mouths of elected councillors who represent thousands of constituents many of whom could well have mental health issues or know someone in their family who does.
    It just shows a complete lack of regard for the wellbeing of those most in need in Wrexham but in many cases have to suffer in silence.

    There are some serious issues and questions that need to be raised to the council as to why these comments have been made. Let’s not forget that we are in a planning meeting where genuine objective planning concerns need to be brought up.

    Here are the 3 highly questionable things said in this meeting.

    Planning Objection 1) A high proportion of people with mental illnessness are always wanting to throw themselves at train tracks as soon as they see them – therefore we cannot build secure mental units anywhere near them.

    Cllr Warburton pointed out it was ‘called mental health unit’ and that there was a ‘railway line by the side of it’, rather than explain his point he looked around the room and said “I don’t think I need to say anymore about that one.”

    Yes, that’s right a major planning issue is that we cannot place any secure mental health units near any railway lines in case the view of these lines proves too tempting for some.

    This is a very big concern to me as Heddfan Psychiatric Unit in town is only about a 4 minute walk down a single road to a railway track. They may want to reconsider moving that if this is such a huge issue.

    Planning Objection 2) Schizophrenics are not to be positioned near schools

    Cllr Pemberton bluntly said he felt ‘schizophrenics next to schools should be a planning issue’, acknowledging the need for such a facility but ‘it is in the wrong position’.

    Despite the fact that people who suffer from schizophrenia are not required to register their whereabouts on an official register nor is it a crime to be schizophrenic and many of them walk about Wrexham just fine freely on a daily basis it is a planning issue to house them near to a school. There is an implication here that schizophrenics are a threat to children (or anyone for that matter) like paedophiles and sexual predators. There are children who have schizophrenic parents or members of their family who care for them just fine and would never harm or neglect a child.

    Planning Objection 3) People treated for mental health issues well enough to return back to society might want to hang around the local area and create trouble

    Cllr Graham Rogers said he had concerns that once a person had received treatment they would not ‘be returned back to their own surroundings’, and said if they remained local there could be ‘trouble

    The implication here is quite a shocking one – if you get detained under the mental health act but then actually get well enough after treatment to be free to reintegrate back into society and medically declared not a threat to either yourself or anyone else YOU ARE NOT WELCOME TO LIVE IN GWERSYLLT. Or in fact the Hermitage or Hightown areas under Cllr Rogers watch. I find this somewhat strange to be unwelcoming of those recovering from mental illnesseas into the community when there is a dwelling for sex offenders in Hightown.
    How low are these people perceived?

    If schizophrenics and previously sectioned people are not welcome in the Gwersyllt area (or other areas) for arguments sake does that mean if they make an application to social or council housing they will be turned down if they make an open medical declaration. Are people with ongoing or former mental health issues being turned down for housing across various communities in the county because they are deemed too high risk and susceptible to cause trouble? It sounds like a ludicrous statement and one that would have very serious grounds for disability discrimination if uncovered. But I’m asking the question because an elected councillor has inferred that this would be the case.

    All in all it is disappointing that the application was turned down and it is my understanding that there are some other genuine concerns that need dealing with if they were to be successful at an appeal. However, there is no excusing these outward displays of negative stereotyping that we have all read in black and white. Now it’s back over to the council to unravel this latest mess on their hands.


    Council Watcher

    I suggest that the Councillor join a Mental Health Awareness Course or visit Advance Brighter Futures in Belmont Road to actually find out first hand about the issues of mental health and the very wide spectrum that this covers. The type of blanket assertions our Councillors were making.

    It is also quite astonishing that Senior Council Officers (was there no one from the Legal Department present) did not to the type of statements – there are a number of comments from individuals that are nothing short of direct discrimination.

    The Council could have a case taken against them under two particular pieces of legislation – Equality and Human Rights and Disability Discrimination Act if anyone who could have used the facilities takes this up.

    Organisations such as MIND should look very closely at the webcast to assess if there is justification for bringing a case against the Council and potentially individual Councillors.



    I agree with the posts of Matt and Council Watcher. Going against the advice of the Planning Officer leaves us in the position of a hefty bill when it will surely go to appeal.

    I can understand local councillors protecting their wards in some planning applications, but the comments made were to me,out of order.

    This does not mean that the rest of the planning committee could not have outvoted the local objections. This, they failed to do. Shame on them.

    Councillor X
    Councillor X

    I am sure that all Councillors do their homework before what could be considered a foot in mouth remark or remarks, so they must have sufficient concerns to speak up against the granting of permissions.

    If it was left to Top Managers to make decisions then bad ones would lead to fingers being pointed and allegations of bungs being made. Having Councillors making these decisions means that they are speaking for the people they represent and have no self interest or nothing to gain.

    i also think it is shameful that show the face of a Councillor against the headline here!

    A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.



    If Councillors are speaking for the people they represent why do they ABSTAIN from voting?

    I think the voting was 9 against 5 for with 4 abstentions.



    This just goes to show the quality of some of our Cllrs (not ) !!!

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