North East Wales

Villagers meet over expansion plans for Bodelwyddan

Bodelwyddan

Villagers opposing proposals for up to 2,000 new homes in their community are holding the latest in a series of public meetings.

Bodelwyddan's population of 1,000 could increase six-fold under Denbighshire council's local development plan, it is claimed.

Opponents want a smaller plan, saying the proposal is unsustainable.

Denbighshire council said a failure to supply new homes would lead to a less affordable housing stock.

The plan, covering 100 acres (40.5 hectares), also includes a school, residential care home and improved access to the A55.

The proposals were first unveiled last November, when the council agreed to canvass local opinion through a non-binding ballot.

In January, the vote returned a 13-to-one majority against the plan, on a turnout of just over 25%.

However, the council said the vote was an "expression of the views of the electorate" and "not binding on any body".

The council was originally expected to rule on the plan in February, but local opinion pushed back a decision until later this year.

Even if the plan is accepted by the council, it would still have to be approved by a national assembly planning officer.

The council said it was important to provide new homes for local people.

Environment director Iwan Prys Jones said: "If we fail to provide an adequate supply of homes, one of the consequences is that the housing stock will continue to become more expensive and will continue to become less affordable from the point of view of people who live within the county."

'Untenable proposal'

However, some residents fear the plan fails to take into account the increased burden on local services, communities and road infrastructure.

Opponents have formed the Bodelwyddan Development Action Group, headed by Alice Jones, and said they had received hundreds of letters of support.

"When we began to lead the opposition to DCC's [Denbighshire County Council] unsustainable proposals for Bodelwyddan we knew that it would be a long road," she said.

"The support from residents has fully justified the fight and it is disappointing that the council still desperately clings to this untenable proposal.

"The loss of prime agricultural land, the impact on public services and the absence of any proof of need for 1,715 dwellings leaves us wondering whether DCC appreciate what they are suggesting."

The action group said it was waiting to hear whether anyone from the council would be attending Wednesday evening's meeting at Bodelwyddan Community Centre.

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