Planners delay Chirk dragon tower decision

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

DISAPPOINTED – but determined to carry on.

That’s how the man behind the £9 million project to build a giant dragon tower at Chirk summed up his feelings last night after Wrexham Council’s planning committee deferred a decision on the application.

Erbistock-based arts dealer Simon Wingett says he wants to sit down around a table with all relevant members of Wrexham Council to discuss the full details of the plan.

He is confident that although there was no green light last night, any potential reservations the committee members might have can be dealt with.

“I am slightly disappointed this evening, but I must stress this was not a refusal, it was a decision to defer,” he said. “There are more hoops that need to be jumped through.”

Issues councillors raised requesting more information included the business plan for the project, traffic management and the colour design of the dragon.

A number of committee members stressed they felt the dragon should be red to be an iconic Welsh symbol and concern was expressed that the one being proposed could be green.

Mr Wingett said he already had pledges of £7 million from investors for the scheme and said his business plan had been audited.

“I am not being adversarial, yes of course I am prepared to meet people half way. We do need to get around a table and iron out any concerns.”

Mr Wingett also warned time was an important issue. He is hoping the structure can be in place ready for when Great Britain hosts the Olympic Games in 2012.

“The tower can be such an attraction for tourists coming to this country to see the Games,” Mr Wingett said.

“If it is not in place for then I fear that Wrexham and Wales as a whole will have missed a terrific opportunity.”

See full story in the Leader

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