Wrexham council leaders back 8,000 homes plan

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image captionCouncils are required to draw up a local development plan to reflect expected housing and business needs

A blueprint to complete a commitment to 8,000 new homes in Wrexham has been backed by council leaders.

The Local Development Plan (LDP) will identify sites for nearly 3,400 homes, as the council says more than half those needed are already built, under construction, or have permission.

Three possible locations for 19 traveller plots have been identified.

The plan also suggests locations for new businesses, aiming to create up to 4,200 new jobs.

Deputy leader Hugh Jones was the sole objector, claiming a "concrete jungle" could be imposed on rural communities.

The council has been without an LDP since 2011, when its initial proposal was rejected by the Welsh Government.

Wrexham council's ruling executive board gave its backing to the blueprint at a meeting on Tuesday.

Local authorities are required to draw up an LDP to reflect expected housing and business needs.

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image captionResidents of Brymbo staged a protest against the idea of traveller pitches on the site of a former sewage works

Speaking in advance of the meeting, the council's independent leader Mark Pritchard said the absence of a plan had seen "predatory developers coming in and taking full advantage".

But, voicing his objections at the meeting, Conservative group leader Mr Jones claimed there was "no greater attack on agricultural land than this plan we have before us today".

Following a public consultation on the draft LDP, the council received 3,500 responses, more than a third of which were objections to the proposed traveller sites, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Opponents have pointed out that one proposed site in Llay lies within the Alyn Waters Country Park and has restrictions on development, while people in Brymbo warn that the former sewage works site earmarked for development may be contaminated.

If approved by the full council next week, the plan will be sent to the Welsh Government for examination by an independent inspector.

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