WREXHAM Council has cancelled the current consultation on controversial proposals to build a school on Nine Acre Field due to the impact of coronavirus.

The public consultation was launched to get feedback on proposals to put a school on the site, and was due to run until April 9.

The proposals involve building a new school for around 315 pupils, along with 45 nursery places.

In a joint statement, Chief Executive Ian Bancroft, and Leader of the Council Mark Pritchard, said: “Because of the impact of coronavirus and the need for social distancing, we recognise that some people might miss out on viewing the proposals – particularly residents who can’t view them online and need to visit council offices.

“The virus has also caused a lot of disruption to daily life, and with so many things to think about, people might find it difficult to find time to look at the proposals and feed back on them.

“As a result, it wouldn’t be appropriate to progress with an important piece of work like this at moment, so we’re cancelling the current consultation – with a view to launching a new one when things are back to normal.”

The Leader:

Plans for the school

The plan to put the new primary school on the field have already proved controversial will claims it would be a “nightmare” for residents.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, currently at Lea Road in the town centre, announced earlier this year it would be relocating to the site.

The space had been used as a training facility by Wrexham AFC.

The council said the development would help to meet the demand for school places locally.

But a campaign group was set up in opposition to the scheme amid concerns about the loss of green space, flooding risks, and potential traffic problems.

The Leader:

A meeting at Rhosddu Community Centre at the start of the consultation

Before today's announcement, the Nine Acre Field Campaign Group wrote to the council, saying: “At the public meeting held by the Nine Acre Field campaign group in August 2019, we became acutely aware that many of the more senior residents in the area did not have internet access.

“Therefore, these people will not have had an opportunity to view the plans at the library or by any other method.

“We feel that in light of the ongoing crisis, and the fact that the plans were only viewable at Wrexham Library for 25 per cent of the time required under the Town and Country Planning Order 2016, the consultation has, so far, failed to comply with the applicable legislation.

“We would respectfully requests that Wrexham Country Borough Council pauses the consultation, until it is able to make the plans and other documents publicly available for inspection.”

Draft proposals revealed by the council at the launch of the consultation showed part of the land would be reopened to the public as a woodland walk.

As well as the school buildings, plans for a bus bay, drop off areas, car park, playground, sports pitches and forest school area have also been outlined.

The decision to halt the consultation comes as Wrexham's MP Sarah Atherton wrote to First Minister Mark Drakeford calling for suspension of planning applications during the coronavirus outbreak.