Concerns have been raised that plans to build hundreds of houses on a main route into Wrexham could lead to major traffic queues off the A483.
Land at the A525 Ruthin Road has been included in Wrexham Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP), which sets out where thousands of new homes could be built in the county between now and 2028.
The large site at Lower Berse Farm, which sits close to junction four of the dual carriageway, is seen as key to the success of the blueprint and was considered by planning inspectors at a hearing held in the Guildhall today.
During proceedings, a resident who lives nearby complained that drivers are currently left queuing on the road for long periods during rush hour, and the addition of more properties would only make the issue worse.
John Rees made his comments despite the Welsh Government promising to deliver improvements to ease congestion at the main pinch point between the A525 and the A483.
He said: “My major concern is junction four of the A483. There’s a statement about traffic improving on the A525 on the approaches to that junction at peak times.
“My personal observation as a regular user of the road would indicate that’s not the case.
“The tailbacks in the evening travelling westbound go back past the traffic light junction at the school (Ysgol Clywedog) towards Morrison’s supermarket and they extend backwards towards the Maelor Hospital.
“I don’t understand how you can build hundreds of houses and it does not have a detrimental effect on an already poor junction.”
The council put the site forward as a key strategic location in the plan but during the hearing officers became involved in a disagreement with representatives from developers Redrow.
The company behind the proposals at Ruthin Road wants to build 500 homes during the timescales covered by the plan, with only minor changes made to the surrounding road layout.
However, the authority said it should wait until the A483 improvements move forward, after which it would only be allowed to create a smaller amount of 200 properties.
Overall the land has been earmarked for 1,500 new houses but fears were also raised about the potential for flooding on part of the site.
Ryan Knowles from Natural Resources Wales said: “In our correspondence with the local planning authority we outlined our concerns relating to flood risk.
“Within the site boundary there is a proportion which lies within an area of the flood plain that doesn’t have a significant flood defence infrastructure.
“A highly vulnerable development of this type should not be permitted in the zone.”
In response, planning officer Matthew Phillips said the area at risk of flooding only represented a small portion of the site and would not impact the 200 houses set out in the plan.
The final hearing into the LDP will be held tomorrow after which inspectors will create a final report.
The council will be required to fully implement any changes they make.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
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