Posted: Wed 29th Nov 2023

Timeframe to redevelop derelict city centre site could be extended despite local concerns

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 29th, 2023

Planning permission to redevelop an eyesore site in Wrexham city centre could be extended despite local concerns that work may not commence.

Members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee will consider the application for land at the former Ebeneser Chapel, on Chester Road, on Monday 4 December.

The site has stood derelict since 2017 after planning permission was granted to demolish the former chapel to make way for 23 apartments.

However work has yet to begin with the site remaining an ‘eyesore’ ever since.

In 2021 Wrexham Council granted approval to extend planning permission for a further five years.

At the time the applicants stated that redevelopment of the site had been delayed due to “Brexit, covid and the associated business conditions.”

But on Monday councillors will be asked to reconsider and again approve the extension for the development.

A report due before the planning committee explains that the application, and several others, are being reconsidered due to issues with phosphates first raised almost two years ago.

The report states: “On 15 December 2021 the Council received a letter from the LDP (Local Development Plan) Inspectors regarding the potential impact of the phosphorous issue in the deliverability of the LDP.

“In light of this it was necessary to review all applications where the grant of planning permission was dependent upon the completion of a Planning Obligation, including the current application.

“Whilst the Obligation for the proposed development has been completed, in light of the phosphorous issue the planning permission was not issued.

“To do so in advance of the completion of the review of the Five Fords Waste Water Treatment Works Environmental Permit would have potentially had adverse significant effect on the River Dee and Bala Lake SAC due to additional phosphorous discharges into the SAC catchment had the development subsequently taken place.​

“‌The completion of the Five Fords WWTW permit review addresses the reason for deferring the issue of planning permission.

“In the meantime, the draft LDP has been found to be sound by the Inspectors appointed by the Welsh Minsters to examine it.

“As such, it must be afforded significant weight in the determination of planning applications. On this basis, it is necessary to consider the application in light of LDP policies before permission can be granted.‌”​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌​​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​

However concerns have been raised by local councillors that the redevelopment of the site may never take place.

The local community council have argued that the “demolished building has left an eyesore on the main approach into the town centre and works should have commenced within the original time period to ensure the amenity of the area is improved.”

Cllr Becca Martin has expressed concerns that putting up a new fence will “not change the derelict site behind it.”

Grosvenor councillor Marc Jones has also argued that Wrexham has “far too many derelict buildings and wasteland as it is, suggesting this is because the Council have been too lenient with developers who find themselves unable to continue the work for whatever reason.”

But the application to extend the timeframe for the development has been recommended for approval by the council’s chief planning officer, subject to a Planning Obligation to “secure a financial contribution to off-site open space the development accords with the relevant UDP policies.”

If a Section 106 agreement to support public open space is not secured within six months then the application risks being refused.

The application will be considered by planning committee members at a meeting on Monday 4 December at 4pm.

The meeting will also be webcast on the Wrexham Council website.



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