Posted: Thu 20th Apr 2023

LDP reaction: “This is unlikely to be the end of the matter” for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Apr 20th, 2023

Campaigners have welcomed the vote to not adopt Wrexham’s Local Development Plan last night.

You can read our full meeting report here: Wrexham Council throw out 2013 to 2028 Local Development Plan in tight vote

Councillor Marc Jones, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, commented after the meeting: “Our concerns were always about the excessive housing allocations in the open countryside. We’ve been consistent in saying that building huge estates on greenfield sites was unnecessary and failed to answer the real needs of Wrexham people. There are 4,000 people on our waiting list for housing – up from 2,000 three years ago – and four-bedroom executive housing is not solving that problem. The LDP failed to address that need – instead the planning inspectorate reduced the numbers of affordable houses in the plan to just 9% of the total allocation.

“This has never been a plan for Wrexham, it’s been a plan for developers that’s been foisted on the borough by the Welsh Government. The starting point was a wild and inaccurate projection of a 20% increase in the population. That led to the then Welsh minister insisting on a housing allocation of 13,000. The goalposts were later moved as it became clear that the population was inaccurate but it still insisted on two Key Strategic Sites on either side of Wrexham that amounted to 3,000 new houses on green field sites off the Cefn Road and Ruthin Road. Without substantial extra infrastructure in terms of better transport, health services, schools and the like, this would put intolerable strain on existing services.

“Plaid Cymru has been clear from the outset that the basis for these housing numbers was incorrect. We’ve been proven correct with the borough’s population static for the past five years and now predicted to fall by 2% in the coming decade. This is the reality. The plan has been shown to be a fantasy.

“The rejection of the plan by councillors across the political spectrum places this firmly back with Welsh Government. It can choose to impose the plan against the wishes of the locally elected members, including some from their own party. Or they can accept that it’s not fit for purpose for the remainder of the plan period (2028) and start working on the next LDP from 2028.”

Brymbo LDP Action Group and Paul Rogers, all of whom were in the all but empty public gallery last night, have commented, “Last night the Council voted narrowly not to adopt the Local Development Plan. Had the plan been approved, the former sewerage treatment works near St Mary’s Church would have been allocated for a gypsy and traveller site.”

Pointing to the result of the 27 v 23 vote, they added, “This shows that the vote was extremely close and that if just two more Councillors had switched from voting against to for then the plan would have gone through on the casting vote. This is unlikely to be the end of the matter, therefore we will await the next development and update everyone. Thank you once again for your continued support.”

You can read our full meeting report here: Wrexham Council throw out 2013 to 2028 Local Development Plan in tight vote

Top pic: Protestors outside the Guildhall before the meeting. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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