Posted: Wed 3rd Apr 2024

Temporary Kop stand faces removal after 12 months under new planning condition for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Wrexham AFC’S temporary Kop stand may need to be removed after a period of 12 months under a new proposed planning condition.

The 2,289-seater stand was opened in December to boost capacity at the Racecourse Ground to more than 12,000.

Tickets for the League Two side’s home games have been in high demand since the club’s takeover by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in February 2021.

Permission was granted for a new permanent Kop stand containing 5,500 seats in November 2022, with work originally expected to start last summer.

However, due to funding delays and site issues, the Hollywood owners decided to install a temporary stand to meet the clamour for tickets in the short-term.

While the facility has been open since Wrexham’s 2-0 win over Newport on December 23, 2023, formal planning permission has yet to be approved for the temporary structure.

A retrospective application is due to be considered by councillors next week which has been backed for approval, subject to a condition for it to be removed from the site off Mold Road within a year.

In a report, Wrexham Council’s chief planning officer David Fitzsimon said this was due to the visual impact of the temporary stand on the surrounding area.

He said: “Full planning permission is sought in retrospect for the erection of a temporary stand on the site of the former Kop Stand.

“Given that the temporary stand as erected replaces the former Kop Stand and is a temporary solution prior to the construction of the consented stand, it is considered the principle of development is acceptable.

“The stand is considered to be of a utilitarian design, and does not offer high quality design features, however noting that it is of a temporary nature, this is considered to be acceptable.

“A suitably worded condition is included within the recommendation to secure the removal of the stand structure and any supporting infrastructure from the site within a period of one year from the date of any permission granted, in the interests of the visual amenities of the locality.

“The applicant has confirmed their agreement to such a condition.”

The temporary stand currently provides 20 spaces for wheelchair users and measures approximately 70 metres in length.

The highest attendance since the opening of the stand saw 12,532 people inside the ground for Wrexham’s 1-0 win over Notts County in mid-February.

It was the biggest attendance for a league game at the Racecourse since a home fixture against Shrewsbury Town in March 1980.

Mr Fitzsimon added: “The application proposes an acceptable form of temporary development which does not cause any long-term adverse visual impacts, nor any detrimental impacts in terms of neighbouring amenity, highway safety, ecology or the historic environment.

“The recommendation is consequently to grant temporary planning permission for the development subject to the conditions.”

The application will be considered by members of the council’s planning committee when they meet on Monday (April 8, 2024).

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter

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