Posted: Fri 14th Aug 2020

Appeal over refusal of food outlet plans in Wrexham is thrown out amid concerns over road safety for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

An appeal over plans to turn a shop in Wrexham into a food and drink outlet has been thrown out.

An application was submitted in July last year to change the use of the former Auto Parts store on Holyrood Crescent in Rhosddu.

It was later rejected by Wrexham Council amid concerns it could cause issues with noise, odour and parking in the area.

An appeal was later lodged by Birch Heath Development, which is behind the scheme, to have the decision overturned.

A town planner acting on the company’s behalf said many of the problems highlighted by the local authority were on the basis the property could be used as a takeaway, but claimed it could be used for other purposes such as a cafe.

However, the inspector appointed to oversee the process has upheld the council’s decision after carrying out a site visit amid concerns about road safety.

Claire MacFarlane said: “At the time of my visit there were a number of vehicles parked partially on the footways of the surrounding roads, and one of the four units was open for customers.

“It is therefore reasonable to expect that the parking demand, and levels of on-street parking, would be considerably greater when all businesses are open, and the comments received from the council and third parties reflect this.

“I also observed a regular flow of traffic along East Avenue, with vehicles travelling at faster speeds than those using the surrounding roads.”

She added: “Due to the deficiency of provision and the increase in parking demand, the proposal would result in increased vehicle movements and indiscriminate parking in the area around the appeal site.

“Given the proximity to several junctions and bus stop, and taking account of vehicle speeds along East Avenue, this would significantly interfere with the free flow of traffic in the area and increase the risk of conflict between road users.”

In the appeal documents, the company suggested the use of apps such as JustEat would mitigate any demand on parking if the building was used as a takeaway.

But that argument was dismissed by Ms MacFarlane, despite agreeing with them that the development would not cause a nuisance to neighbours.

She said: “Although the use of web-based applications for food ordering and delivery may reduce the number of customers visiting the premises, and therefore the parking demand, no end-user has been identified for the unit and there is a lack of certainty that such technology would, or could, be utilised to a meaningful extent.

“However, even with some reduction, the scale of the requirement based on the standards in Local Planning Guidance Note 16 would still represent an increase in parking demand when compared to the existing use of the unit.”

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter

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