An appeal has been launched over the refusal of a small housing scheme on the outskirts of Wrexham amid claims young people are unable to find homes in the village they grew up in.
Wrexham Council refused plans for six new houses in Bronington, which sits near to the border with Shropshire, back in February.
The decision was made amid concerns about the impact on the surrounding countryside, as well as on nearby trees and hedgerows.
However, the developers behind the proposals have now launched an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to overturn the local authority’s conclusion.
The total number of houses outlined on land opposite Maesllwyn Close has been revised down to five in order to address some of the issues raised.
It comes as the land owners said it would allow the village to become more socially inclusive by providing homes for youngsters wishing to stay in the area they were raised in.
In the appeal documents, they said: “Under the council’s emerging policies, there is little or no hope for younger local people to remain in Bronington (or move back to it) to start new independent households and bring up their own families.
“They are effectively being forced to live in the larger settlements and Wrexham town.
“Lack of any growth in these communities also puts the existing services and facilities under threat.
“History has shown us that if you starve villages of appropriate development, the services within them will become marginal and will be lost.
“The appeal proposals are therefore very much about maintaining social sustainability in small rural communities.
“This helps to make small rural communities socially inclusive, rather than just havens for the wealthier and the retired.”
The landowners said they already reached an agreement in principle for the site to be developed by Primesave Properties, who specialise in smaller houses.
The company was also behind a recent development of nine houses in Penley village, where they said a new two-bedroom semi-detached home was available for less than £120,000.
But the council’s planning department said the proposals went against a large number of policies.
In their report, officers said: “The proposals do not accord with any of the limited circumstances set out that permit small scale residential development on sites outside of settlement limit.
“To develop the site and extend the built form into the countryside would extend the pattern of the built-up area out in a ribbon form and would have an urbanising effect that would erode the amount of open space at the edge of the settlement, and the rural character and associated appearance of the well-defined wooded edge to the village.
“The development would not therefore accord with the national planning policy and would therefore represent an inappropriate form of development in this countryside location.”
The appeal will be considered by a planning inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
*Picture: Planning document
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