A MAN who wants to build a retirement bungalow on the outskirts of Whitchurch says he is waiting for a response from Wrexham Borough Council on a complaint he has made about a planning application.

Robert Forrester, who lives in Windsor Road, New Broughton but has an association with Horseman's Green going back 30 years since he bought a plot of land there, has a planning application in place for the property, which has yet-to-be approved.

However, Mr Forrester has withdrawn an original, similar application – on legal advice – as he believes the report by planning officers at Wrexham would have misled councillors into rejecting his plans.

He instructed his solicitors to write to Wrexham on July 17 but after he had not received an answer, he then registered a complaint on August 30 – only to receive a response to his original legal letter.

But Mr Forrester added that all he wants from the council is a fair hearing – something he is fearful of not receiving after he read the officers' report to councillors for his first application – and a site visit.

"I’m definitely exasperated by all of this and I’ve had to defend my reputation like I’ve previously had to do," he said.

"All I’m asking is for a fair hearing, and something that I haven’t had before which is the committee members to come and do a site visit.

"They’re relying on the idea that it’s bad, or detrimental, for the area. I want to show people that’s not the case and I have not had that because no-one has visited from the committee.

"This is causing me a lot of stress – I’m 65. You rely on planning officers to write a fair report and I think the last report was so far off the mark.

“The application complies fully with 'Planning Policy Wales Development in the Countryside' which allows ‘minor extensions to existing settlements’. The proposed bungalow will have no detrimental effect on the area and as such the proposal is acceptable.”

“The decision is always going to be subjective and consequently in order to reach the correct decision a site visit by members of the planning committee is vital. It is hoped that councillors will see that a site visit is the best way forward.”

“Wrexham Council should perhaps ‘cast the net’ a little further when considering new housing, rural communities should not be forgotten, new housing is required here too and their needs should also be considered rather than just focusing on large sites in and around the urban villages of the County Borough where there is considerable opposition.”

Mr Forrester's solicitors – Wright Hassall – wrote to Lawrence Isted, who is head of environment and planning at Wrexham, to put forward their own observations concerning how his application was dealt with.

The response by John Gregory, head of planning at Wright Hassall, highlights that the reports omitted details from Mr Forrester and that Wrexham Council's planning officers had not made the reasons clear in their report.

He added: "In particular, our client is of the view that the committee report due to be presented to members is significantly misleading and contained substantial omissions which may have led members of the planning committee into error.

"We would add that our client has made significant efforts to address the concerns of the council in relation to this development, halving the number of dwellings and reducing the proposed building to one storey.

"He remains keen to engage in constructive dialogue with officers and would encourage a site visit by members of the planning committee should a further application come before them.

Mr Forrester, in his complaint to Wrexham, said the report was “biased against the applicant” and “substantially flawed in that it did not state accurately the full facts of the application”.

A spokeswoman from Wrexham Borough Council, said: “Mr Forrester’s complaint is under investigation and until this is concluded it is not appropriate to comment on this matter.”