A NEW housing development could be built on the site of a hospital where Polish ex-servicemen were cared for after World War II.

A planning application has been entered on part of the Penley Polish Hospital site, which would see nine houses constructed in place of a number of existing buildings that are said to be in a state of disrepair.

The hospital, which sits in the village of Penley on the outskirts of Wrexham, was founded in 1946 after a decree was issued by Winston Churchill.

The Leader:

In the early 1950s it was home to more than 2,000 patients and staff.

Some of the original hospital buildings have been demolished and replaced by the more modern Penley Community Hospital, which is run by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and has eight individual rooms.

In the application, the developers claimed the latest proposals would improve the appearance of the area.

They said: “The site is part of the no. 3 Polish Hospital (former WWII No. 129 US Army Station Hospital) where some buildings still stand.

The Leader:

“These remaining buildings formed only part of the Polish hospital on the Penley Hall land, together with nine buildings on the field to the east of the site (within applicants ownership), and a further 10 buildings (part of a cluster of 21 buildings) on the same field to the south east.

“The main buildings which still stand are of brick construction with asbestos cement sheet pitched roofs.

“All are in varying states of disrepair, and vary from average to poor in condition.

The Leader:

“We believe that on balance the development of this brownfield site is justified due to an improved outlook from the recently completed housing adjacent rather than the current derelict storage units”

According to a heritage report, most of the hospital buildings have been stripped of their fixtures and fittings since the end of the war.

However, in response to a pre-application query for part of the site, officers from Wrexham Council have raised a number of concerns. Planning officer Sharon Holman said the proposals were unlikely be supported because of their impact on the surrounding countryside.

She said: “Although there is a need to increase the supply of housing land in the county borough, there are a number of significant policy and site constraints, issues and potential impacts that apply to this site which I consider outweigh this need.

“Although it is noted that part of the site is brownfield land, the current built form of the site is low density and the proposed development for housing would represent a visual intrusion into the countryside and be out of character with the locality.

“It is therefore my opinion that should an application for planning permission be presented it would not be supported.”