PLANS for a £250m super prison have moved a step closer.
Last night members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee voted in favour of granting outline permission for the scheme – based on the former Firestone factory site in Bridge Road - subject to conditions.
There were 14 votes for, one against and three abstentions.
The committee decided to reject a plea from Stephen Nott, the clerk of Abenbury Community Council, to postpone making a decision on the proposal until more information was available to them.
Addressing the councillors, Mr Nott said: “The community council have asked me to tell you this is an opportunity to stand up and be counted.
“We think at this stage the planning application should at least be postponed. There are so many issues yet to be decided.
“The devil is in the detail and our concern is that there are too many loose ends – about things like contamination.”
A report to the committee from head of community wellbeing and development, Lawrence Isted, was in favour of the proposal.
In his conclusion Mr Isted said: “These proposals will deliver significant investment in a site on the Wrexham Industrial Estate that has been vacant for a lengthy period of time and deliver much needed additional employment opportunities in the area.
“The development will inevitably result in ecological, highways, short-term noise and visual impacts.
“However I am satisfied that, on balance, the impacts will not be significantly harmful and/or can be adequately mitigated and that the development accords with both national and local planning policies.”
Cllr Terry Evans spoke in favour of the application saying it was a hugely important proposal which would provide an economic lifeline.
“There will be good jobs, well paid jobs, for years to come,” said Cllr Evans.
After the meeting the chairman of Abenbury Community Council, Cllr Ray Squire, described the outcome as “a dark day for democracy”.
He added: “I feel members of the committee have not listened properly to objections raised.
“If construction of the prison goes ahead, I fear there will be huge problems over issues such as contamination.”