Land across Wrexham where it is likely 8,000 new houses could be built has been revealed – with members of the public having the opportunity to have their say before a final decision is made
Work on Wrexham Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) and its preferred sites across the county borough for housing, retail and employment developments, has been ongoing for several years.
The document lays out the preferred development strategy up until 2028 and upon adoption it will replace the current adopted Unitary Development Plan (1996 – 2011) and be the basis for decisions on land use planning for county borough.
Back in 2012 it was announced that progress on Wrexham Council’s LDP had been halted after a planning inspector concerns with the level of housing provision proposed within it.
Over the past few years a revised document has been drawn up, with an initial consultation taking place in 2016.
However last year Wrexham.com reported that preparation of the revised LDP 2 was seven months behind schedule, with the item bumped from February’s Executive Board agenda to March’s to allow for further time even at this late stage.
During September’s Executive Board, reasons for its delay were put down to a delay in the publication of key evidence from the Welsh Government and the need for key evidence to support the required infrastructure delivery associated with the plan’s proposed allocations.
Previously it had been quoted by some that Wrexham would need to make provision for over 10,000-13,000 new homes – many of which were expected to be built on green barrier space.
However in a document due before the Executive Board next week, it is explained that the new Deposit LDP makes provision for 8525 new homes up until 2028 – (including a 10% contingency allowance) to deliver a requirement for 7750 homes.
It is estimated that the plan could also create 4,200 new jobs in the area.
The report due before councillors next week states that the Deposit LDP will focus on “concentrating development allocations in the following sustainable locations as identified in the settlement hierarchy”:
– The Primary Key Settlement of Wrexham Town and Wrexham Industrial Estate including Key Strategic Site release for housing and employment
– The Key Settlements of Acrefair / Cefn Mawr, Chirk, Coedopeth, Gresford / Marford, Gwersyllt, Llay, Ruabon and Rhosllanerchrugog;
– The Local Service Centres of Bangor, Broughton, Brymbo, Glyn Ceiriog, Holt, Overton, Penley, Penycae, Rhostyllen and Rossett
– Tier 4 settlement of Rhosrobin, due to its proximity and accessibility to Wrexham Town
Large sections of land around the town centre look set to undergo the most drastic changes over the next decade of so, with thousands of houses likely to be built on the periphery.
Such sites included land on Ruthin Road and Cefn Road / Bryn Estyn Road – both of which have previously come under fire by politicians and residents for featuring in the LDP proposals.
Another large parcel of land allocated for housing is near the B&Q Roundabout, alongside the A483.
The council-owned Crown Buildings, which was mooted for demolition in the recent Difficult Decisions consultation, is also highlighted as an area for housing.
Moving away from town, a two parcels of land in Rossett / Trevalyn has been highlighted as an area for housing, along with land in Caego and Stansty.
Smaller parcels of land in places such as Chirk, Holt, Acrefair, Cefn Mawr, Gwersyllt and Rhosrobin are also included in the LDP documents.
Wrexham.com will be covering various areas in the coming days, and no doubt communities will be having their say as well.
We asked Cllr David Kelly, Lead Member for Planning and Corporate Services, how confident he was the LDP would be accepted this time around, he told us: “LDP 1 was rejected for various reasons. This plan has identified the issues that occurred on the first one, and I think there is a lot more flexibility in this plan. Not least there were issues on infrastructure and deliverability of certain sites, but hopefully alot of that will come out during the consultation period.”
We also asked about the previously mentioned 13,000 house requirement and what the figure was now and how it has been calculated. Cllr Kelly told us: “The original figure was 12-13,000 , in consultation with Welsh Government it is agreed the need and projected population figures now lie probably around the 8,000 mark. That figure infact defaults to a lower number as there are a number of developments already in place, so the true number is probably about 5,500 to 6,000. It obviously depends how many of the current permissions are delivered in the period.
Lack of feedback from Education and Health is a regular theme with planning applications, one apparently shared by Cllr Kelly who confirmed he was expecting both areas to up their game in terms of feeding into the process, adding “Some of the larger developments will trigger need for Section 106’s for new schools” – S106’s being agreements made between local authorities and developers, in this example say to co-fund a school or health centre.
Council Leader Mark Pritchard added: “I felt at the time that the previous LDP 1 was sound and a good plan, but the Inspector at the time thought it was not. We felt it was an excellent plan, but well it is up to the Inspector and he made the decision.
“There was one area in particular we were not building enough houses in the borough, and he felt we should build more. They felt at the time 13,000 but this time will support around 8,000. That probably tells you we were right in the first plan, and they have conceded .”
The report will go before members of the Executive Board at 10am on Tuesday 13th March before being debated at Full Council on March 28th.
A public consultation allowing you all to have your say on the proposals, is expected to be given the go ahead and launch soon after the Full Council.
The report due before councillors next week can be found here.
Maps / further information of where housing land could be allocated, can be found below in the following PDF’s with as helpful name as provided to councillors:
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