999 fears over Wrexham superstore

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

WORK on a new superstore, which will create 300 jobs, has been halted over fears it could hamper 999 calls.

Ambulance chiefs claim traffic generated by the Morrisons store in Ruthin Road will hamper emergency calls at its adjacent headquarters.

In July, Wrexham Council approved a blueprint for the £25 million development on land formerly occupied by a council depot.

But local councillor Phil Wynn told the Leader: “Many of my constituents have been asking why there have been no signs of building work being carried out on the development site since planning consent was granted.

“Unfortunately, since planning approval was granted, the adjacent land-owner, the Ambulance Trust, has raised concerns about the affect the supermarket will have on their ability to carry out 999 response operations from its Ruthin Road depot.

“What saddens me is the Ambulance Trust have been kept informed by the council since it was known that Morrisons were the preferred buyer for the site, which was some years ago.

“It therefore seems to me to be opportunistic on their part to be raising objections at this late stage to a development which will deliver 300 plus much-needed new jobs, improved road infrastructure for the area, at Morrisons’ expense, a shopping destination which local residents are keen to use and a major capital receipt which has been earmarked by Wrexham Council for their schools building project.”

He added: “I am aware that the Ambulance Trust has recently submitted a planning application for a new joint headquarters with the fire service, to be located on Croesnewydd Road, which does seem to undermine the stance they are taking as regards their objections to the Morrisons supermarket.”

He added: “Fortunately, Morrisons are committed to opening a store on this site, so I just hope common sense prevails and the Ambulance Trust are told to reconsider their current stance without further delay.”

Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths has also been looking into the delay.

She said: “I’m sure the concerns of the ambulance trust are not without grounds.

“However, these must be seen in the context of the urgently-needed jobs and services this will bring to Wrexham.

“It is important for Wrexham that this development can go ahead without further delay.

“I have met with Edwina Hart to voice my concerns and will continue to work towards a speedy resolution to this matter.”

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The trust is in discussions with the local authority to resolve the situation.

“We are working towards a solution which will allow all ambulance vehicles to leave the station safely, allowing the trust to provide an efficient emergency response to patients with life-threatening conditions or injuries while we remain at the current station.

“The trust is fully supportive of all community developments that create work in the current climate and would never seek to halt such an important development for Wrexham without undue concern.”
 

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