A HOUSING association has won an appeal over the refusal of plans to build more than 20 ‘much-needed’ affordable homes in Wrexham.

Proposals by Wales and West Housing Association to develop land at Woodlands Farm in Gwersyllt were rejected by Wrexham Council’s planning committee in April.

It came after some councillors voiced concerns it would cause the village to merge with Rhosrobin.

However, the scheme has now been given the go ahead after the local authority’s decision was overturned by a planning inspector appointed by the Welsh Government.

The Leader:

In his report, Richard Jenkins said the fact the 23 outlined properties were all affordable would deliver benefits for the area, despite the loss of green barrier land.

He said: “I consider the fact that the appeal relates to an application submitted by a housing association for a 100 per cent affordable housing scheme to weigh substantially in favour of the development.

“Indeed, the evidence indicates that there is a significant need for affordable housing within the area and it would appear that the scheme is deliverable, with the site already in the ownership of a registered social landlord and social housing grant funding available within the delivery program for the next three years.

“I consider the fact that the adopted development plan is time expired, the inability of the council to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply, and the sustainable location to weigh substantially in favour of the development.

“Based on the foregoing analysis, I have found that the development would run counter to adopted development plan policies designed to protect the countryside.

The Leader:

Proposals by Wales and West Housing Association to develop land at Woodlands Farm in Gwersyllt have been rejected. Source: Wrexham Council planning agenda

“However, the harm to the green barrier and the wider countryside and landscape setting would be clearly outweighed by the very exceptional circumstances described above.”

According to the plans, the development will include flats, bungalows and houses.

The proposals were originally refused by the committee despite receiving the backing of local councillor Tina Mannering.

Speaking at the planning meeting, she said: “Everyone knows how I feel about building on green wedge, but this is different.

“It’s affordable housing to allow local people to live locally, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to do so.

“Wales and West have worked tirelessly to address our officer’s concerns.

“They are committed to making a difference to the communities where people live.”