PLANS to enable the £60 million redevelopment of a university’s facilities look set to be approved despite community unrest over its proposals for almost 200 new homes.

Glyndwr University is carrying out a major revamp to transform its campuses, including its main base on Mold Road in Wrexham.

A series of nine applications are set to be considered at a meeting of Wrexham Council’s planning committee at the start of next month as part of the overall scheme.

A draft copy of the agenda, which has been seen by the Local Democracy Service, shows all of them have been recommended to go ahead by council officers.

It includes proposals for 74 houses on a sports field on Dean Road in Rhosnesni and 112 new homes on grazing land off Gatewen Road in New Broughton, which the university intends to sell off to partly fund the improvements.

Both potential developments have been met with opposition from residents living nearby, who believe schools, GP surgeries and roads in the area will not be able to cope with the additional pressure.

However, chief officer for planning Lawrence Isted cited the shortfall of housing land in the county borough as an overriding factor in their favour.

Discussing the largest site in New Broughton, he said: “Unless land is brought forward for development there is significant risk that the housing requirements cannot be met.

“It is therefore essential that sites are brought forward for development and therefore granted planning permission, including Local Development Plan allocated sites where appropriate.

“The proposed development will deliver up to 112 dwellings thus making a considerable contribution towards the supply of land available for housing.

“It is my opinion that the above factors demonstrate that housing land supply is a material consideration that should be afforded significant weight.”

The recommendation for the Gatewen Road scheme has been made despite the council’s lead local flood authority officer declaring it should be refused because of concerns about the drainage arrangements.

The authority’s highways department previously issued a report criticising the likely impact on traffic near Wrexham Maelor Hospital, but its comments are not included in the draft document.

Meanwhile, 75 objections have been raised about the Dean Road proposals, including by people angered by the loss of green space.

Sports Wales and Fields in Trust have also leant their weight to the campaign.

An area has been earmarked for a replacement sports pitch, but it is currently under council ownership.

In response, Mr Isted said the housing land was owned by the university and members of the public had no legal right of access.

He said: “Whilst land ownership is not a material planning consideration, it would be remiss to ignore the fact that the land in question is in private ownership and could be closed off from all public access at any time.

“The provision of a significant level of housing within a sustainable location, with the opportunity to introduce high quality and policy compliant open space provision, in the wider interest of the county borough will ultimately reduce the pressure to accept sites outside of defined settlements.

“I am therefore satisfied that the proposed development should be considered acceptable.”

Some of the buildings at the university’s main campus date back up to 70 years and will be replaced by a new learning gateway and engineering building if the applications are approved.

The arts school on Regent Street will also be revamped and have a 107 bed student accommodation block added.

There are also plans to demolish existing student accommodation on the Plas Coch campus to make way for 410 apartments aimed at professionals from key employers, such as Wrexham Maelor Hospital and HMP Berwyn.

The university previously said it had no use for the land it intends to sell for housing and the money from selling to developers would help it to compete with other institutions.

A senior politician from Wrexham Council has also given his support to the proposals despite raising some issues regarding traffic and parking.

In his response, the authority’s lead member for education Phil Wynn said any problems caused would be minor in comparison to the benefits.

He said: “I fully endorse Glyndwr University’s intentions to modernise their campus, thereby maintaining for years to come its appeal to students who predominantly come from the Wrexham and north east Wales region.

“Having spent the last week holidaying with my two very young granddaughters my mind has focused on the need for certain sacrifices to be made by the current generation to ensure we can ensure a future for those that will follow us.

“If that means being stuck in a traffic queue at peak-times for longer, then surely that is a small price we ought to pay.”

A public meeting to decide the plans will be held at Wrexham’s Guildhall at 4pm on Monday, July 1.