A bid to overturn the refusal of plans for eight houses in a village near Wrexham’s border with Shropshire has been thrown out.
It came after a planning inspector concluded that proposals to build on farming land in Penley would cause ‘unacceptable’ damage to the appearance of the area.
Wrexham Council turned down the application to develop a site on the corner of the A539 and Hollybush Lane in July last year as it said it would intrude into the open countryside.
However, an appeal was launched against the ruling by the woman behind the scheme, Mary Evans, after agents acting on her behalf accused planning officers of rushing their decision.
Her case was heard by planning inspector Clive Nield, who backed the local authority’s conclusion.
In his decision notice, he said: “The appeal site is located outside the settlement boundary and in the open countryside.
“The appellant argues that the proposal is infill development and refers to the presence of buildings and facilities nearby. However, that is clearly not the case.
“I do not agree that the site is “central to the village”.
“The main part of the village is clearly some distance along the main road to the east, as can be seen by driving along the road or by consulting a map.
“My overall conclusion on this issue is that the proposed development would unacceptably harm the character and appearance of the area.”
The council also refused the application on the grounds it would have a negative impact on the Grade II listed Madras Primary School, which sits opposite the site.
However, following the submission of a heritage impact assessment by Mrs Evans, the authority said those concerns had been addressed.
Mr Nield, who was appointed by the Welsh Government, said both sides agreed that Wrexham did not have have a five-year supply of available housing land.
Despite this, he said he had received no evidence regarding the impact of the shortfall and it was outweighed by the harm that would be caused.
*Picture: Planning Document
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
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