LAND earmarked for an 80ft bronze dragon sculpture could be set to come under the spotlight.

A site owned by Wrexham Council near the A5 at Chirk has been set aside for the iconic statue, which would sit on a 40ft slate tower next to a 12,000 sq ft cultural centre.

However, concerns have been raised that the tourist scheme has not progressed since the local authority first granted permission in 2011.

Last year it was also revealed that a charity run by the man behind the proposals was being investigated for failing to hand over any of its profits to the region’s health board in seven years.

The Charity Commission launched a probe after it was discovered the Frank Wingett Cancer Relief Fund, which is headed by sole trustee Simon Wingett, invested £410,000 in the dragon project instead.

A Conservative politician has now submitted a request for backbenchers in Wrexham to consider alternative uses for the land.

Cllr Rodney Skelland, who represents Bronington ward, said it could possibly be used to meet the need for employment land in the county.

He said: “The dragon project has not progressed, despite planning permission being first granted on March 8, 2011.

“A variation to the original planning permission was subsequently granted on January 3, 2017 for an extension of five years to commencement of development.

“The site of land behind McDonald’s owned by Wrexham Council is in an excellent location running parallel with the A5/A483 at Halton with good highway access from roundabouts.

“Planning permission exists for leisure and tourism and a business/culture hub, car and coach parking, ideally located for future development.

“(It is) a potential employment site which, if sold, could contribute to improve the council’s economic development portfolio, e.g. construction of much-needed high demand small employment units.”

In June last year the Charity Commission said it was looking into ‘serious concerns’ about Mr Wingett’s charity, which was set up by his father Frank to buy equipment for cancer patients in Wrexham.

The organisation ran a shop at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, which previously gave sums of £19,000 and £4,500 to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board for patients in 2010 and 2011.

However, no further money was provided and the shop was closed last March because of the lack of donations.

At the time Mr Wingett said family issues had contributed to accounts being filed late, adding that the dragon scheme would create a ‘lasting charitable’ legacy’ for cancer sufferers in North Wales.

A Charity Commission spokesperson has confirmed that its investigation is ongoing

Meanwhile, Cllr Skelland’s request to find a different way forward for the former Black Park Colliery site will be discussed by Wrexham Council’s employment, business and investment scrutiny committee on Wednesday, March 6 but the suggestion has been greeted with a cool response by officials at the local authority.

They said: “Permission has been given, in principle, for the development of the site, subject to a number of conditions which were approved by the executive board. ·

“Further discussions will need to take place regarding the valuation and the conditions that need to be met.

“Mr Wingett could then attend a corporate land and buildings strategy group meeting to give members an opportunity to discuss the project with him prior to making any recommendations to the executive board.

“Given that the site is in open countryside the presumption would be against development and currently there is a prospect of the site being developed in accordance with the planning permission.”

They added they were ‘not sure’ if there would be any merit in councillors looking into alternative uses for the land in the meantime.