Posted: Thu 6th Aug 2020

Call to pause Local Development Plan for 7,700 new houses in Wrexham after new population projections revealed for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 6th, 2020

A local councillor has called for plans to allow 7,700 new homes to be built in Wrexham to be paused following’s report over new population projections yesterday.

Wrexham is one of four local authority areas in Wales that is set to shrink in population size by 2028 according to new statistics. The new figures show a -1.5% change to population, down to around 134,100, rather than up 10% as in some previous analysis.

Plaid Cymru Councillor Carrie Harper said, “The Welsh Government’s population projections have been used to justify building thousands of new homes on green fields around Wrexham and we’ve consistently argued that these projections were unrealistic and out of step with reality. The past seven years have seen a static population and now this trend is set to continue for the coming decade.”

“This means we have to adapt to a changing reality. The Welsh Government and its Planning Minister Julie James cannot ignore this and keep working hand in glove with developers.”

“Plaid Cymru at all levels have argued that a lot of these new estates were being built as Cheshire overspill rather than responding to local need. We need to see more affordable housing, more bungalows and retirement homes, more starter homes for young families and more council housing. This plan didn’t deliver on any of these because it allows developers to dictate and they will always opt for the most profitable executive housing.

“Communities in Gwersyllt, Stansty, Llay, Gresford, Rossett and most recently on the Holt Road side of town all understand the big housing developers are closing in on Wrexham with little regard for the pressures this puts on our roads, schools, health services and other infrastructure.”

Cllr Harper pointed to a previous figure of 13,000 new houses that was seen as a possible requirement locally, and in 2018 the council mooted a figure of 8525.

Cllr Harper said, “Back in 2011, the Welsh Government was demanding 13,000 new homes in the plan because they said there was going to be a 20% increase in population. That was halved to 10% as they realised they were totally wrong and now it’s gone down to -1.5% in the latest statistics. This no way to build communities in Wrexham – it’s imposing false targets that don’t allow communities to develop at their own pace. What we’ve got now is a complete mess and the minister has to step in and press the pause button. It has to stop now.”

The top image is of land off Holt Road where the local Planning Committee recently refused plans for 600 new houses. The site between Wrexham Rugby Club and the roundabout by Wrexham Golf Club forms part of a wider area, which has been identified by Wrexham Council as suitable for up to 1,680 new houses in its Local Development Plan (LDP) to meet the apparent housing need for the growing population, however the houses may not have had people to live in them if the new figures are correct.

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