Posted: Tue 27th Feb 2024

Plans for 20 city centre apartments set for approval despite noise concerns for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 27th, 2024

Plans to create 20 apartments above shops in Wrexham look set to go ahead despite concerns over noise from a nearby music venue.

An application was submitted to provide accommodation on the upper floors of a building on Regent Street in the city centre in June 2022.

The property was previously home to the UnDegUn art gallery and a JJB Sports store, as well as covering an area above the Waterstones book shop.

Proposals by the JSM Company Group to create one and two-bedroom apartments on the first and second floors of the building are due to be decided by councillors next week and have been recommended for approval.

However, some community leaders fear residents in the apartments could be impacted by noise from the Rockin’ Chair music venue, formerly known as Central Station, which backs onto the site.

Members of Offa Community Council have also questioned a lack of proposals for bin facilities and car parking spaces within the application.

In comments contained within a report to Wrexham Council’s planning committee, they said: “There is no provision for bin storage and recycling.

“A fully detailed document is required showing where the bin and recycling storage will be located in a secure location and how it will be serviced.

“There is no allocated parking provision, and this is a concern as it is likely that owners of the two-bedroom flats will have cars.

“The standards of sound insulation required will be high due to the proximity of Central Station and their late-night band nights.”

The developers originally proposed to build a total of 24 apartments, but the figure was later reduced.

The plans include an atrium area in the centre of the building designed to allow daylight in.

The owner of one neighbouring property has raised concerns that the application could have a negative impact on nearby businesses.

However, the council’s chief planning officer has backed the scheme for approval as he said it could boost the local economy, adding that ground floor shops would be unaffected.

In his report, David Fitzsimon said: “Wrexham city centre is the focus for new development and the local development plan (LDP) places significant emphasis on the city as a primary key settlement.

“The city centre is perceived as not performing well and it is important that this decline is reversed.

“In accordance with LDP policies, supported by the Wrexham Town Centre Master Plan, encouraging people to live in the centre will help grow the city and assist in city centre regeneration.”

Mr Fitzsimon said proposed soundproofing measures would address the impact of noise on residents and no parking spaces were required because of the building’s central location.

He said: “It is in a highly sustainable location where occupiers would not need to be reliant of private cars.

“A noise assessment and proposed noise attenuation measures have been submitted in support of the application.

“The council’s public protection officer has confirmed that the attenuation measures will adequately protect the living conditions of future occupiers.”

Mr Fitzsimon recommended the plans for approval subject to the developers entering a legal agreement to pay money towards providing affordable housing elsewhere in Wrexham.

A further contribution of £10,000 will also be needed to improve public spaces in the city centre, with a final decision due on the proposals on Monday (March 4, 2024).

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter

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