PLANS to build eight houses next to a garden centre near Wrexham have been refused.

It comes after planning officers raised concerns that the development next to Ferndale Garden Centre in Caego would lead to further applications on green barrier land.

In response, some councillors said they felt planning policy was being applied inconsistently following the approval of 362 new homes on fields on Gresford Road in Llay and officers recommending them to grant permission for another site in Caego.

However, Wrexham Council’s planning committee voted by a majority of 11 to six to reject the proposals after highways officers highlighted issues with a lack of visibility for drivers entering the site off Berse Road and the loss of parking for the garden centre.

New Broughton councillor Alan Edwards said he was neither for nor against the plans, but objected to the way planning policy was being applied in Wrexham.

He said:  “I find it quite unacceptable when I was asked to support this to be refused under delegated powers because it was out of settlement, when in the last 18 months our planning department has supported another site in Caego for acceptance.

“Having experience of living in that area for 60 years, my own personal view is this site wouldn’t cause the inconvenience or danger of the other site.

“They’re pushing big developments while small developments are being looked over.”

The plans were originally entered in October 2017 by the garden centre’s owners Mr and Mrs B Hughes.

In a design and access statement written on their behalf, they said the development would form a mixture of two and three bedroom houses and would help to support their business.

They also said it would help the council to reduce the deficit of new houses in the area.

But planning officer Matthew Phillips warned it would be “the thin end of the wedge” if the plans were approved.

He said: “The very clear difference between this site and the site mentioned is this site is roughly midway between Wrexham and Caego, so is very clearly out of settlement.

“The other site adjoins and creates a logical extension of the existing settlement.

“I don’t think it’s inconsistent with the application further up the road.

“It was about that site being considered appropriate for development.”