Marford shop plan returns with appeal against rejection

Published date: 04 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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AN APPEAL has been launched to try and push through plans for a controversial 4,000 sq ft convenience store.

Wrexham Council’s planning committee earlier this year rejected plans to build a shop on part of the car park at the Red Lion pub in Marford.

The application was made by pub chain Marston’s, which runs the venue.

A total of 15 councillors voted to reject the proposals, on the grounds of a lack of adequate parking and delivery facilities, the potential impact on neighbours and the appearance of the planned building.

But now – with only a few days left of the appeal window – Marston’s has placed a bid to try to get the decision overturned.

Marford councillor Mike Edwards, who also sits on the planning committee at Wrexham Council, said: “An appeal against the decision to refuse the planning application by Marston Breweries to build a retail unit on the car park at the Red Lion has been submitted, only days before the deadline of December 5.

“Details of how the appeal will be heard are not yet available.

“I believe they have been trying to get new evidence on traffic movement as people have reported seeing cameras there.

“The planning inspector should only accept new evidence and that will, I think, be about access, highways and the ability to park.

“That is what the appeal will hang on. But a lot of people like me will hope this does not happen.”

When the original planning application was considered fears for children’s safety were also raised as the land is close to the junction of Woodlands Road and the main B5445. Two bus stops regularly used by students at Darland High School at Rossett and Ellesmere College are near the junction.

Campaigners from Marford, Rossett and Gresford submitted 600 objection letters and a petition with 142 signatures.

At the time of initial rejection they described the outcome of the planning meeting as “a victory for common sense”.

Peter Minshull, who runs Clear Black Wine in Gresford, said: “I sense we all expected an appeal because no business is going to spend that kind of money on applying just to back down.

“But we have been told there is nothing we can do about the appeal.

“Our original objections still remain. We still believe there are numerous safety problems and it will be a danger to the public and the drivers.

“We hope the planning inspector listens to local feeling before making their decision.”

If Marston’s is successful in its appeal and the convenience store is built, Mr Minshull fears it could damage retailers in Rossett and Gresford.

“If it comes it will put lots of pressure on existing retail outlets in both areas,” he said.

“It is rare to have this ranges of shops which the two villages do. There is a butchers, florists a hair dressers and wine merchants all together within a short distance.

“It begs the question, just because you are given permission to build, should you?”

No date has been given for a decision on the appeal to be made at this point.

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