Wales

Wrexham council accused of failing to meet housing need

Bricklaying
Image caption A planning officer said other sites could meet Wrexham's housing needs

Developers appealing against a council's rejection of a scheme for nearly 200 homes claim the authority is failing to meet local housing needs.

Wrexham County Borough Council turned down the plan for the village of Rhosrobin fearing loss of green land.

Planning officer Matthew Phillips told a public inquiry that although there was a shortfall in homes being built, other sites had been earmarked.

A report will be sent to the Welsh Government for a decision.

The Welsh Town Planning and Housing Trust, which applied jointly with Liberty Properties, is appealing against the council's rejection of the 189-home scheme in 2017.

Lawyers for the developers told the inquiry less than half the 517 new houses a year outlined in Wrexham's emerging local development plan (LDP) had been delivered.

They also pointed out other green field sites were being put forward for housing in the plan, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The site includes a public right of way along the Wat's Dyke ancient monument

Phillip Morris, managing director at Liberty Properties, claimed there was a "large demand" for new homes in Wrexham.

"People are saying they want to buy a house in the place they were brought up in," he said.

Mr Phillips, representing the council, conceded there was a shortfall of houses in the area.

But he added: "As things stand at the moment it's not a site we feel we need to deliver to meet the requirements of the LDP.

"The argument for not supporting this application remains the same as when the decision was made."

When questioned further, the officer conceded the proposals would make an "important contribution" to the amount of new houses if more were needed.

Planning inspector Kay Sheffield will submit a report to the Welsh Government within the next five weeks to inform its decision on the appeal.

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