Posted: Tue 8th Jun 2021

Planning permission extended to allow development of 23 new apartments to commence for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Planning permission to allow the development of more than 20 new flats in Wrexham town centre to begin has been extended.

Councillors initially gave the go ahead to plans to demolish the Ebeneser Chapel, on Chester Street, back in 2016.

As part of the redevelopment of the site 23, two bedroom apartments are set to be built in a ‘V’ shape stepped over three, four and five floors.

However despite the building being demolished in 2017 the site has stood derelict, with the applicants stating that “whilst we fully intend to develop this site within a reasonable timeframe, it has been delayed due to Brexit and covid and the associated business conditions.”

Yesterday members of the planning committee gave the go ahead to extend planning permission by a further three years.

A “scheme of temporary fencing along the highway frontage of the site” is also expected be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority within a month of approval.

Concerns had been raised before the meeting by the local community council and councillors about the “eyesore site”. However, speaking at yesterday’s meeting planning officer David Williams said: “Unfortunately, although we are able to grant permission, what we cannot do is to insist that they make a start, we have no powers available for us to do that.

“The only way that we can at least provide and facilitate a commencement is to grant permission.

“I think to refuse it or object to it isn’t really going to help the situation, certainly in terms of the concerns raised in relation to derelict sites in the town centre, but I do understand that frustrations, in respect of of those issues.”

However some committee members called for more to be done to ensure the site is cleared.

Ruabon councillor Dana Davies said: “Is there anything that we can put in the condition that will allow the applicants to keep the site tidy, while they’re waiting to develop it?”

She added: “On condition 14 it’s just reliant on a fence and it’s what happens behind that fence, because I’ve experienced that in my ward and that’s making sure that doesn’t become an area of concern for the community.”

Mr Williams said: “I don’t know what more you can do than provide a fence or something similar to enclose it.

“It’s a temporary arrangement, it’s not permanent. We don’t want to encourage them to put anything there which becomes permanent because of the issues that have been raised and related derelict sites, we want them to develop it.

“I think the best you can hope for in terms of protecting the visual immenity area is the boundary treatments, which as you say is covered through the condition.

“I don’t think you can do anything more than that as a planning committee.”

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