PERMISSION for a leisure park has been refused by Flintshire Council more than nine months after developers submitted an application.
Development Securities submitted a planning application in September last year to build on land between Broughton Retail Park and Chester Road.
The plans were for a pub restaurant, fast food outlets and a hotel.
A medical centre and council contact centre were also key elements of the revised scheme which would have been on a strip of council-owned land in the middle of the site.
Doubt was cast over the viability of the medical centre element of the plan when Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said an existing surgery in Broughton – The Marches – does not wish to relocate and there is no evidence a bigger practice is needed in the area.
With no decision having been made, Development Securities submitted a second, identical application and appealed to the Welsh Government for non-determination over the original application, saying Flintshire Council had taken too long to decide over the application.
Yesterday, Flintshire’s planning and development control committee rejected the second application and agreed to appear at the public inquiry to challenge the developers’ appeal over the delay in deciding on the first application.
Planning officer Mark Harris told members there was a lack of evidence the medical centre, council contact centre and hotel would be delivered.
Recommending the application for refusal, he said: “Without any realistic prospect for the provision of a medical centre, contact centre and hotel at this location, the proposal would essentially result in the provision of a food and drink establishment led and dominated form of development outside of any development/settlement boundary in the adopted Flintshire Unitary Development Plan.
“This would not provide a scheme which would lead to wider community benefits and it is therefore considered that the development as proposed is contrary to the specified policies.”
Planning consultant Mark Krassowski, who is the agent for Development Securities, said the company had been asked to include a contact centre on the council-owned section of land.
“We’ve only included what we’ve been asked to do,” he said.
“We can’t take responsibility for land we don’t control.
“This is the only opportunity to set aside land for this use. It remains an ideal location and your officers’ u-turn is unfounded.”
Local member Cllr Billy Mullin proposed members approve the officers recommendation to refuse permission and fellow local member Cllr Derek Butler said the application was “premature”.
“The situation here is there’s a piece of land that’s been lying doing nothing for 20 years and time for development is long overdue.”
But he said the things the developers suggested to go on it were things that “can’t go on at the moment”.
“Without these key elements in place this is just a fast food development.”
Members voted unanimously to reject the application.
They also voted unanimously for Flintshire Council to appear at the public hearing to challenge the developers’ appeal over non-determination of the first application.