HUNDREDS of residents united in their continued fight against plans for a gypsy/traveller site.

The people of Llay, who provided by far the largest proportion of responses during the Local Development Plan (LDP) public consultation process, turned out to a public meeting.

They are being encouraged to respond to plans by Wrexham Council to remove green wedge status from land just off Pont Y Capel Lane.

Community councillors and campaigners say that fact alone should be seen as a positive because it provides evidence and confirmation that the green wedge site was not suitable for the development in the first place.

Representations for this stage of the process are now being considered by an independent inspector rather than the council.

Cllr Bryan Apsley who, along with fellow Llay councillor Rob Walsh, were among 17 Wrexham councillors who voted to reject the LDP last year, said this particular stage of the process represented a chance to respond to the focused changes made by the council since the plan was deposited last November.

He the meeting at the village's Royal British Legion on Wednesday night: "This isn't about the LDP now, which led to us holding 13 public meetings and provided more than 4,000 responses, with the majority of those from the people of Llay, Bradley and Gwersyllt areas.

"You might ask 'why respond now?', because the council seemingly ignored your responses last time, but the fact is 17 councillors rejected the plans, which is some kind of record in the recent history of Wrexham Council.

"We have to concentrate tonight on the focused changes and the fact the council is trying to take the gypsy/traveller site out of the green wedge, which is a clear attempt by them to take away one of our main arguments against it in the first place.

"I believe we need to show this inspector what we're about and we all know the move to remove the green wedge is designed to weaken our case."

Cllr Apsley added: "The proposed change of words just doesn't ring true.

"They say they've proposed the change so it meets the requirements of national planning policy.

"Well a lot of us have studied national policies and they say changes to LDPs after deposit should be avoided wherever possible."

Cllr Apsley urged residents to ensure their responses focus on the green wedge removal issue only, as other comments, such as problems with the local infrastructure, are liable to be thrown out as being inadmissible.

Russell Evans, a prominent member of Llay Action Group, said: "Trying to remove things like the green wedge after they submitted the LDP clearly is the wrong process.

"National policy says you can't build on green wedge, so what they're trying to do is change the rules and remove the green wedge so their plans comply with that policy.

"We believe the removal of green wedge is not a focused change. It is substantial."

Cllr Walsh paid tribute to all those who attended for their continued support and said it sent out a big message to the inspector.

He said the matter was not a "done deal" and encouraged people with the words: "We can win this."

He added: "This might be seen by some people as a negative but I see it as a positive because I think this is evidence that they have made a mistake and we're going to show, as a united village, that the mistake has been made."

The deadline for the public to provide responses to the focused changes is February 18.

They can be made via the councils online portal