Wrexham residents set up action group to fight homes plan

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

AN action group has been set up against proposals to build a Welsh school on open space in Gwersyllt.

About 70 people from the Gwersyllt and surrounding areas turned up at a public meeting earlier this week to discuss plans submitted to build a new school on land at Alyn Waters Country Park.

As well as an action group being set up, residents are also looking to speak with a council ombudsman because they feel they were not consulted before plans were submitted for the school.

Cllr David Griffiths, who covers Gwersyllt East and South, is also calling for the planning application to be withdrawn in order for a full consultation to be carried out.

Cllr Griffiths, who attended the meeting, said: “I feel if they had done a thorough consultation we would have known how the residents feel about a loss of open public space. The meeting showed the strength of feeling for keeping the open space and showed how there has been a lack of democracy over the consultation.

“The people of Wrexham chose us councillors to speak on their behalf and it will be a blow to modern society if this is sidelined.”

David Jones, who lives on Delamere Avenue where the school is proposed, said the meeting was a huge success and an action group of five people had been set up.

He said: “It’s not that we are against a Welsh school, it’s that we don’t want it built on open space.”

Mr Jones added that residents feel they have not been part of the consultation process into the matter.

Wrexham Council says a survey in 2007 identified a large number of families in Gwersyllt, Llay and Summerhill who wanted to send their children to a Welsh medium school. In response, temporary classrooms were placed at Ysgol Plas Coch in Wrexham.

Lawrence Isted, chief planning officer said: “As part of the normal process of considering a planning application, the planning department has publicised the application, notified neighbours and consulted a variety of public bodies, including Gwersyllt Community Council.

“A report on the proposed development will go to the planning committee (probably on December 6) and will outline relevant planning policies and site-related issues, but also any representations that are made by the public.

“Planning committee members will then be in a position to take an informed decision and can approve or refuse the application on the night or defer it for further information and/or to inspect the site for themselves.”

John Davies, chief learning and achievement officer said: “Meetings have been held by the way of informal consultation with various parties in Gwersyllt, as well as other communities.

“The identified site will be the subject of full planning consultation and the proposal to create a new school will be the subject of further formal consultation when the statutory process proceeds.

“The authority has a corporate complaints procedure for anyone who is not satisfied with the way in which the council has dealt with a matter.

“The council has not received any direct complaint to investigate but the authority is confident that its usual consultation processes have been followed.”

The plans are available to view online by the application number P/2010/0881.

See full story in the Leader

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