PLANS for a new production facility at a wood panel factory have been deferred amid concerns about the impact on road safety.

It comes after politicians were told proposals to create a new orientated strand board production facility at Kronospan in Chirk would lead to almost 1,000 lorries using the village’s roads every day.

The development forms part of the firm’s plans to invest £200 million in the site over the next three years, which it claims will boost the area’s economy.

However, community representatives said they felt it was only a matter of time before there was a major accident in Chirk, with vehicles often left queuing on the B5070 to access Kronospan.

Members of Wrexham Council’s planning committee unanimously voted in favour of asking officers to meet with the company to consider creating a new access road.

Speaking at Wrexham’s Guildhall, Chirk Town Council chair Jackie Allen said the increase in traffic amounted to 24 per cent.

She said: “We’re constantly reminded of vehicle movements when we see HGV vehicles stationary outside the entrance waiting to turn into the site.

“Should this planning proposal go ahead today it will increase HGV movement by a further 200 vehicles.

“The biggest impact on the community, which we appreciate is a planning consideration, is around vehicles.

“We feel enough is enough. The factory desperately needs another road and another means of access.”

The proposals were originally backed for approval by planning officers, who said Kronospan had agreed to provide an extra weigh bridge to solve queuing traffic.

The company has also outlined its intention to transport more timber to the site by rail.

Chairman Mike McKenna said the scheme was an important part of firm’s plans.

He said: “This is the final significant piece of the jigsaw in terms of finishing the rebuild of the plant.

“I would like to stress we will maximise opportunities to bring material into the site by rail.

“We’ve also agreed to a third weigh bridge as part of this application to ease traffic on the B5070.

“I would urge you to consider this application on its merits baring in mind what I’ve said and taking note of the recommendation for approval.”

Cllr Terry Evans (Ind), who represents Chirk, said the road outside the factory had been resurfaced on a number of occasions because of the damage caused by lorries.

He said he had submitted photographic evidence of the queuing HGVs to the council.

He said: “The road surface was replaced about two years ago and it is badly worn out in places.

“Main drains have been upgraded to 60 tonnes and the road around these keeps collapsing and needs redoing every few months.

“All the road surface drains from the Kronospan entrance to the bottom roundabout are completely blocked with wood chips and wood dust, making it difficult to clean the drains.

“This is a great expense on Wrexham Council when the when the council budget is shrinking and extra lorries will cause more problems on the roads.”

Committee chair Cllr Mike Morris (Con) warned the committee that deferral of the proposals could lead to a planning appeal being submitted.

However, every member voted in favour of asking officers to hold discussion with Kronospan about creating a new access point.