COUNCILLORS will today decide whether elderly mentally infirm (EMI) care should be brought to Chirk, amid fears the go-ahead would take away the town’s residential care facilities.

Clwyd Alyn Housing Association, which runs Chirk Court, says as part of its proposal to demolish the current 30-bed site in phases and replace it with a 72-bed facility, both types of care would remain and allocated on the basis of need through dual registration.

But opponents claim the group has already reneged on an agreement to provide a 10-bed residential care ‘pod’ and they don’t believe the dual process will work.

These fears have been increased following a recent addendum report to the plan, in which the applicant stated: “There is currently no planning policy requirement for the allocation of bed spaces for the sole purpose of providing elderly residential care within the proposed facility.”

Chirk North councillor and Mayor of Wrexham, Ian Roberts said: “They still say residential care will remain, but they have already changed their mind once. We are not against the EMI provision, but there must be room for residential care.

“Residential care has to be here for those living in and around Chirk, for those who need a place of safety.”

Concerns have also been raised over plans to remove a section of historic hedgerow to allow for a new site entrance directly onto the main Holyhead Road. Members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee will be making a site visit this afternoon, ahead of their decision meeting.

Deiniol Evans, director of development and technical services for the Pennaf Housing Group, which includes Clwyd Alyn, said: “By extending the plans we will be able to both ensure continued provision for existing residents on the site, while at the same time responding to the increased demand for residential and specialist dementia care in the future.

“The dual registration does not specify an allocated number of beds, as far as the planning application is concerned, however it will allow us the flexibility to continue to look after all our current residents in the future.”

Mr Evans also said that around 20 metres of the existing hedge would be removed for the new entrance.