Plans to build more than 20 new affordable houses in Gwersyllt have been allowed on appeal.
The application for Woodlands Farm on Dodds Lane, which was submitted by Wales & West Housing, included a mixture of flats, two and three bedroom dwellings and bungalows.
At the time the 23 properties were described as providing “much needed accommodation for local people who choose to live and seek employment” in the area.
However the application was refused earlier this year due to its location within the green barrier and fears it would lead to the coalescence of New Rhosrobin and Gwersyllt.
An appeal was later lodged by the applicants in a bid to overturn the committee’s decision.
Planning inspector Richard Jenkins notes that although his findings show the “development would run counter to adopted development plan policies designed to protect the countryside”, he believes “matters in favour of the development comprise the very exceptional circumstances required to clearly outweigh both the harm to the Green Barrier and its wider countryside status.”
He continues onto say: “Whilst the loss of openness and conflict with the Green Barrier carries substantial weight in the planning balance, I consider that such harmful impacts would be kept to a practical minimum by reason of the proposed design.
“Indeed, the elongated layout, with the built development confined to the western side of the proposed access road, would ensure that the development would be seen within the context of the existing built form at Gwersyllt.
“The development would also lie to the north of Dodds Lane, with the nearest form of development at New Rhosrobin lying to the south.
“Therefore, whilst the appeal proposal would result in the narrowing of the gap between the two
settlements, I am satisfied that a physical and visual gap would be retained and their
distinctive characteristics preserved.
“In addition to such matters, I consider the fact that the appeal relates to an application submitted by a housing association for a 100% affordable housing scheme to weigh substantially in favour of the development.
“Indeed, the evidence indicates that there is a significant need for affordable housing within the area and it would appear that the scheme is deliverable, with the site already in the ownership of a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) and Social Housing Grant funding available within the Delivery Program for the next three years.
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