Posted: Wed 1st Apr 2020

Updated: Wed 1st Apr

Consultation over plans to build school on Wrexham field cancelled due to coronavirus for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 1st, 2020

A consultation over plans to build a new school on a field in Wrexham has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Wrexham Council has been seeking public feedback on proposals to create a school for a total of 360 children on the Nine Acre Field on Chester Road.

The exercise was due to run until next Thursday but has now been stopped after a drop-in event to view the scheme had to be put on hold due to COVID-19 outbreak.

Wrexham Library, where the plans were due to be put on display, also had to be closed, meaning they could only be seen online.

It led members of a campaign group, who are opposing the creation of the school, to write to the local authority asking them to pause the consultation as they said many older people did not have internet access.

The council’s leader and chief executive have now released a joint statement in which they acknowledged it would not be right to continue in the circumstances.

Mark Pritchard and Ian Bancroft said: “Because of the impact of coronavirus and the need for social distancing, we recognise that some people might miss out on viewing the proposals – particularly residents who can’t view them online and need to visit council offices.

“The virus has also caused a lot of disruption to daily life, and with so many things to think about, people might find it difficult to find time to look at the proposals and feed back on them.

“As a result, it wouldn’t be appropriate to progress with an important piece of work like this at moment, so we’re cancelling the current consultation – with a view to launching a new one when things are back to normal.”

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, which is currently based on Lea Road in the town centre, recently announced it would be relocating to the site.

The space is currently used as a training facility by Wrexham AFC, but the club has been working with the council to move to a purpose-built training ground next to the former Groves School.

The council said the development would help to meet the demand for school places locally.

However, a campaign group has been set up in opposition to the scheme amid concerns about the loss of green space and potential traffic problems.

Writing to the authority on Tuesday, members of the Nine Acre Field Campaign Group said: “At the public meeting held by the Nine Acre Field campaign group in August 2019, we became acutely aware that many of the more senior residents in the area did not have internet access.

“Therefore, these people will not have had an opportunity to view the plans at the library or by any other method.

“We feel that in light of the ongoing crisis, and the fact that the plans were only viewable at Wrexham Library for 25 per cent of the time required under the Town and Country Planning Order 2016, the consultation has, so far, failed to comply with the applicable legislation.

“We would respectfully requests that Wrexham Country Borough Council pauses the consultation, until it is able to make the plans and other documents publicly available for inspection.”

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme)

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