Housing developers have called for an appeal hearing to be held over the refusal of plans for eight new homes in a village in Wrexham.
Urban Developments Limited previously put forward proposals to convert a farmhouse and barns at Gamford Lane in Rossett for residential use.
But the scheme was refused by Wrexham Council earlier this year because of the impact it would have on the surrounding countryside.
Although it did not form part of the reasons for turning down the application, concerns were also raised by Alyn Family Doctors that its practice in the village would not cope with the pressure imposed by new houses.
The house builders have now launched an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and requested for a hearing to be convened as they claimed there was a high level of interest in the plans.
Planning agent David Horton, who is acting on the company’s behalf, also said it would be contesting the justification for rejecting the proposals.
In a statement published on the inspectorate’s website, he said: “The reasons for refusal of this application are strongly refuted and a hearing procedure is requested for the consideration of this appeal for the following reasons.
“The inspector is likely to need to test the evidence by questioning, particularly on brownfield status and viability issues. The case has generated a level of local interest such as to warrant a hearing.
“The proposals for Gamford House do not materially detrimentally affect countryside, landscape character, open space, or the quality of the natural environment, but preserve openness and are carefully designed in response to landscape and visual impact analysis.”
He added the lack of a five-year housing land supply in the area should weigh in the developer’s favour.
The local authority’s chief planning officer recommended the plans should be refused as he claimed it would represent inappropriate development on green barrier land.
However, Lawrence Isted dismissed the issues raised by doctors as he said they had not provided sufficient proof that it would have a negative impact.
He said: “I note the objections of Alyn Family Doctors, however their objection does not identify any evidence of a specific harm that would arise from the development.
“They have also provided no evidence to demonstrate whether the pressures they face are as a result of the capacity of physical infrastructure or staffing shortages.
“Healthcare staff shortages are not unique to Wrexham, however in my opinion it is not an issue for the local planning authority to seek to mitigate.”
He added: “The development lies in open countryside, represents inappropriate development within the green barrier and will have a harmful urbanising effect on the site, the rural character of the locality and special landscape area.”
The appeal will be considered by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
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