Recently parking around the Racecourse stadium has become a hot topic with local residents asking stadium owners Glyndwr to help out on match days to ensure roads and drives are not blocked. This issue also rears its head during the week with people working nearby parking in a similar manner causing issues for residents.
We were aware of a meeting of the Council’s Planning Committee on April 6th 2009 , where then Wrexham FC Chairman Geoff Moss spoke in favour of the Wrexham Village student flats development, where a planning report was circulated. This report mentioned several concerns about the impact of the development on the parking situation in and around the Racecourse.
The development itself took place on the former car park of Wrexham Football Club, the student flats have been seen as controversial for Wrexham FC fans, as all profits were due to go into the club, but they were since told the club will ‘not see a penny more’ and has had all it will have ‘upfront’. This contrasts to the information given, before planning approval, via a leaflet in 2009 to fans that stated “Wrexham FC have entered into a legal agreement with Wrexham Council which means that all profits from the development are safeguarded to go back into the club”.
A view of historic satellite imagery of the car park indicates roughly 100 cars parked on it, where these cars now park is unknown.
The planning reports for the Wrexham Village development mentioned future predictions of parking issues, for example:
- Offa Community Council said they thought “inadequate parking will increase problems for local residents“.
- Rhosddu Community Council said “residents already experience problems with student parking’ and also suggested a contribution to run a ‘park and ride scheme on matchdays“.
- The report mentions the “adverse impact of inadequate parking provision on nearby residential streets” and went further to say “a Section 106 Agreement is required for a residents only parking scheme“.
Councillor Phil Wynn said at the time that a ‘Crispin Lane residents parking scheme should be included in the Section 106″, and that he wasnt happy that 185 signatures from Maesgwyn residents on a petition were ignored.
The addendum to the report states “The Section 106 Obligation has now been signed and includes the following undertakings”, with one of the undertakings being “Pay the cost of consultation and implementation of the residents only parking scheme and if implemented and annual charge for operating the scheme” plus a “endeavour to obtain additional car parking in the area for occupiers “.
We asked Cllr Wynn of Brynyffynnon Ward if the Section 106 had been signed, and if so had a consultation occurred and if he knew the results, he told us he believed it has been signed and a five figure sum though to be around 20-30k had been paid to the council but no report has been conducted.
We also noticed that planning was granted for the student flats on the condition that ‘within six months of the first use of the development, trees and shrubs shall be planted on the site in accordance with a scheme which has been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority”. It goes on to state that “any trees or shrubs removed, dying, being severely damaged or becoming seriously diseased within five years of planting shall be replaced by trees or shrubs of a similar size and secies to those originally required to be planted”.
The planning documents gave details of the types, placement and style of landscaping that would be put in place:
One section to give an example, is the “tree avenue” with “featured tree rings” to the left of the entrance and eight trees on each side, here is the plan:
When we took a trip there earlier, this is the reality:
On the plan this is down as “medium low shrubs” and the flower bed having “featured shrubs”
Looking along the line of the flats we cannot see any evidence of the plants stated:
The development was officially opened by Lesley Griffiths AM on September 30th 2010, and on the day Professor Michael Scott, then vice-chancellor of Glyndŵr University aaid “We’re thrilled that the first phase has been completed – it looks fantastic.”
One year and nine months later it seems that the trees and shrubs that were due “within six months of the first use of the development” have yet to appear which no doubt would make the site look even more ‘fantastic’.