Planners reject controversial housing scheme they claim would ‘pose danger’ to road users
Controversial plans to build 109 new homes on land which links two villages in Wrexham have been thrown out over road safety concerns.
Norris Jones Developments entered proposals last summer to develop an area of grazing land off Hillock Lane, which runs between Marford and Gresford.
The company claimed the development would address a housing shortfall in the area, but it was opposed by some residents, who said it would add to pressures on roads, schools and GP practices.
It led to the creation of the Hillock Lane Action Group to fight against the plans, with campaigners receiving backing from Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton, Marford councillor Russell Gilmartin and Gresford’s Andrew Atkinson.
Permission for the proposals has now been refused by Wrexham Council planning officers, who said the development would “pose a danger to all highway users” due to the road being unsuitable for extra traffic.
The move has been welcomed by Ms Atherton, who described it as “good news”.
The Conservative MP said: “I appreciate that as Wrexham’s population and economy continue to grow, it is understandable that more houses will be needed.
“However, these houses need to be the right number in the right place, so that our infrastructure and the wider environment can cope.
“I believe that the development on Hillock Lane would have led to undue stress for Gresford and Marford residents on both sides of Chester Road.
“It would also have resulted in the loss of precious green spaces that are pivotal to the community.
“That is why I worked hard to oppose the development and I am pleased that it has been refused.”
A consultation was held by the developers over the proposals last year, despite Ms Atherton calling for the process to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The total number of houses outlined by the company was reduced slightly from its original intentions to create 116 houses on the site.
However, council officers said the scheme would represent “an undesirable intrusion into the rural landscape”.
In making their decision, they added it would also lead to the loss of good agricultural land.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter
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