Update on Wrexham Local Development Plan (LDP):
The Council has been progressing with a new LDP which covers the period 2013 -2028 and would replace the Wrexham County Unitary Development Plan (1996-2011) as the primary planning policy document against which all decisions are made.
The LDP has recently been found sound by an Inspector, who recommended adoption of the Plan. However, the Full Council determined not to adopt the Wrexham LDP at its meeting on 19th April. An application to Judicially Review this decision was subsequently lodged and as a result, the LDP was reported to Full Council again 14th June. Full Council upheld the earlier decision and voted not to adopt the LDP. The Judicial Review will now be heard and the Welsh Government will also consider the Council’s failure to adopt the Plan. WCBC will provide further updates.
Despite not being adopted by the Council, the LDP is a material consideration in decision making and should be afforded substantial weight due to the advanced nature of its preparation.
Developments of National Significance (DNS).
Solar Park. Plas Power
The proposals are for the installation and operation of ground mounted solar panels and associated infrastructure. The panels will have an installed capacity of up to 57 MWac and will connect to the National Grid at Legacy substation.
The site is 140ha and is located east of Coedpoeth and 3.4km west of Wrexham on the Plas Power Estate.
The developers, Lightsourcebp, have updated their proposals since their initial consultation with local communities in 2021 and are now carrying out another phase of informal consultation,. The changes involve land to the South which minimises the potential environmental and heritage impacts and also removes the majority of the Best and Most Versatile (BMV) agricultural land from the site’s boundary. Additional land has now been included to the North of the A525.
The intention of the developers is to incorporate any comments they see fit into any revisions of their proposals in their subsequent Pre-Application Consultation and DNS application which are to be submitted in September and December respectively.
The Branch considers it more appropriate to make comments at these stages when more details such as Landscape and Visual Impact, Heritage Impact and Transport Assessments are available.
Energy Plant and Reclamation Scheme, Bersham.
This application is for a new circa 30MW energy plant to be located on the disused Bersham Bank colliery site in Rhostyllen.
It will provide an innovative method of on site reclamation and additional benefits in the processing of the existing colliery spoil material, enabling both on site sustainable generation, reclamation of the site and the production of brick/blocks using the excess material. The plant would remain in situ until the spoil has been depleted (approx.26 years).
As Planning and Environment Decisions Wales are awaiting further details, the Branch are unable to make comments at this stage. The application will be monitored.
Distribution Centres and Warehousing etc. , Bryn Lane, Wrexham Industrial Estate (WIE).
This is a hybrid application for outline approval of three warehouses and distribution centres and full planning permission for means of access and ecological mitigation measures and ancillary works on land to the North East of the WIE.
Although the proposed built developments appear to be a North Eastern expansion of the WIE, it is part of an allocated site within the adopted UDP for employment purposes and within its boundary within the LDP. Therefore there are no objections to the principle of the developments in planning policy terms. The detailed matters to be considered at this stage such as the ecological and highway safety impacts are considered acceptable.
Warehouse Unit, Eight Smaller Units, Retail/Drive Thru, Hotel etc., North of Bryn Lane, Wrexham Industrial Estate.
This is a pre-application consultation for a hybrid application for outline approval for up to 72,635sqm of B1 (c), B2 and B8 uses with ancillary retail/drive thru, hotel and petrol filling station together with full planning permission for construction of a new warehouse unit and eight smaller units on land to the North of Bryn Lane, Wrexham Industrial Estate.
The site lies outside the WIE boundary and within the open countryside within the UDP whereby both national and local planning policies seek to restrict such uses.
However within the LDP, the site is identified as a key strategic site for Use Class B employment development.
Therefore, the proposed Class B uses are acceptable in principle in a Plan which although not adopted does have significant weight, subject to the provision of an ecological network, residential buffer zone and other necessary infrastructure which are considered also acceptable.
The proposed other uses would also be acceptable in principle given they are of an appropriate size and scale which are subordinate and meet the needs of the workers in the area would also be acceptable in principle in planning policy.