Developers under fire as new homes plan rejected

Reporter:

Owen Evans

Housing developers who try to build “at any cost” were slammed as planning bosses threw out highly controversial plans for almost 200 homes.

Members of Flintshire Council’s planning committee yesterday unanimously rejected proposals from Redrow Homes for 186 properties on Chester Road in Penymynydd.

During the packed meeting, held at County Hall, councillors slammed developers attempting “speculative” development plans to take advantage of Flintshire’s lack of a five-year housing supply.

Buckley councillor Mike Peers said: “Because we are unable to deliver a five-year supply, developers are exploiting this and they aren’t interested in the impact on communities. They want houses built at any cost.

“Rest assured that we as a planning committee will uphold our policy. We care about communities in Flintshire and if we get a raw deal like this we will support our communities.”

Broughton councillor Derek Butler added houses were often being built when there was not sufficient infrastructure.

He said: “Just because Flintshire is a popular place, and Flintshire people are good people and people want to come here, it doesn’t mean to say that we have to carte blanche build anywhere.”

The plans were refused after a major backlash against the plans from residents living in the area, who argued that developments in the area had the potential to “destroy” their village.

Resident Claire Huber spoke on behalf of the residents at the meeting about the impact the proposals could have.

She said: “In the last five years we have been subject to extensive and rapid growth and the infrastructure cannot support the village in its current state. We cannot sustain further development and enjoy the quality of life we have.

“It would destroy this village.”

She added that residents who had recently moved to the village following previous developments were struggling to integrate because of the rate of growth.

Penyffordd councillors Cindy Hinds and David Williams also spoke of their strong objections to the plans.

Strong objections were also raised by Penyffordd Community Council. as well as 309 members of the public ahead of the meeting.

Members of the planning committee agreed with the arguments raised, but concerns were raised that the fight may not yet be over.

Cilcain councillor Owen Thomas said: “I admire the campaign the locals have set up on this.

“I feel sorry in some ways because obviously if we decide to reject this, it will go to appeal and on past appeals the Welsh Office has gone against us so maybe this fight isn’t over yet.”

Cllr Peers added: “The next step for residents is putting the case to [former minister for housing and regeneration] Carl Sargeant who can advise them on the lack of a five year plan and then lobby the Welsh Government.”

Planning officers at Flintshire Council had recommended that the proposal be thrown out as it would impact the “cohesiveness of the community”.

Email:

owen.evans@nwn.co.uk

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