Wrexham rejected housing plan is backed on appeal

Image caption Wrexham's housing needs are not being "adequately addressed", the housing minister said

Plans to build almost 200 new houses in a village near Wrexham have been backed by a Welsh Government minister.

Wrexham council's planning committee had rejected the scheme in Rhosrobin in early 2017 because of the potential loss of green land.

The Welsh Town Planning and Housing Trust appealed, pointing out the lack of new houses being built locally.

Housing Minister Julie James said the scheme would meet housing needs which had not been "adequately addressed".

Planning inspector Kay Sheffield wrote to the Welsh Government to recommend approval after overseeing a planning hearing in February, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

During the proceedings, she was told that fewer than half of the 517 new houses a year outlined in Wrexham's emerging Local Development Plan had been achieved in the last five years.

Planning officer Matthew Phillips, who represented the council, also conceded there was a shortfall of houses in the area.

Overturning the council's refusal, Ms James said there were "very exceptional circumstances" to allow permission.

She said housing needs in Wrexham had not been "adequately addressed due to the absence of an up to date Unitary Development Plan or an adopted Local Development Plan".

"It is recognised that the appeal site lies outside the defined settlement boundary and the proposal does comprise inappropriate development within the green barrier," she said in a letter.

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

However, the minister added that despite lying outside the village, the site was "in a sustainable location in terms of access to services, amenities and public transport".

A quarter of the 189 proposed homes will be classed as affordable, the developers have said.

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