Wrexham Council has denied that a decision has already been made to locate a new Gypsy and Traveller site in Brymbo.

The authority is due to finalise its Local Development Plan (LDP) next year, marking out which sites across the county can be developed over the next 15 years.

As part of the plan, three potential locations have been suggested for up to 24 traveller plots, with land at Pont Y Capel in Llay, Coed Y Felin Road in Brymbo and near the A525 in Hanmer provisionally put forward.

The council is currently consulting with residents, some of whom have been vocal in their opposition to the proposals and insists no final decision will be made until it has considered their responses.

However, Brymbo resident Carys Edwards has raised concerns that the future of land at the village’s former sewage works has already been determined following an approach by council officers to landowners Welsh Water.

Speaking at Tuesday's executive board meeting, Ms Edwards said: “Officers have confirmed that an approach has been made by the council to Welsh Water with a view to securing access rights over land in their ownership.

“Wrexham Council had stated as part of the site assessment criteria, that sites being considered had to be entirely within council ownership and therefore this suggests a failure in the selection process.

“As a result, should alternative sites now be considered for a Gypsy and Traveller site and could it not be viewed that this approach by the council to Welsh Water during consultation has pre-determined the outcome leaving this open to challenge?”

In response, the council’s Head of Environment and Planning Lawrence Isted rejected the suggestion that the decision had been predetermined and said access to the site was possible with or without using Welsh Water’s land.

To date the authority has received nearly 3,000 representations on the LDP and he said it hopes to receive more after extending the consultation deadline until July 16th.

Mr Isted said: “I’m sorry that Welsh Water’s access was shown in error as being in council ownership, but approaching them to clarify their position on this matter did not predetermine any decision on the future allocation of this site as the access does not affect its viability either way.

“It can potentially be accessed from their access, as they have agreed, or from the council’s own land.

“In any event the board will consider all material planning considerations, and the representations that have been received, before taking their decision in the autumn.”

The council is scheduled to formally submit the LDP and supporting documents to the Welsh Government in November.

An inspector will then test the viability of the plan before it is due to be adopted in spring 2019.

The council was previously forced to scrap its original plan in 2012 after government inspectors said more homes were needed.