A North Wales MS has warned that the planning system is “failing communities” after a major housing blueprint hit the rocks.

It was revealed last week that the leader of Wrexham Council had pulled his political support for the area’s long-delayed local development plan (LDP).

The plan sets out where 8,000 new homes should be built in the county borough.

The move to withdraw backing was made by Cllr Mark Pritchard’s independent group after planning inspectors questioned how land in Alyn Waters Country Park in Llay was chosen for a Gypsy and Traveller site.

Plaid Cymru MS Llyr Gruffydd has criticised both the local authority and the Welsh Government for the way the LDP process was conducted after members of his party opposed its submission back in 2018.

Welsh nationalist party councillors have repeatedly expressed objections over the number of houses proposed, whilst thousands of residents also voiced their disapproval around various elements of the plan.

Mr Gruffydd claimed it demonstrated how the planning system “ignores local concerns and favours developers”.

He said: “It’s remarkable that a council leader and the biggest group on the council should withdraw their support for this plan.

“It should also be noted that the Planning Inspectorate is also unhappy with this current plan and rejected the first one submitted by the council.

“We need a re-set not just in Wrexham but throughout Wales about the way our planning system works.

“This Labour Welsh Government has failed because it has imposed demands to allocate land for thousands of new homes on greenfield sites that have profound effects on local infrastructure such as schools and medical facilities, as well as the environment and destroying valuable agricultural land.

“Government ministers need to admit they got it wrong and Wrexham Council has to accept it didn’t listen to community voices who expressed concerns about the process.”

An earlier version of the LDP was rejected in 2012 by inspectors appointed by the Welsh Government, who said 11,700 houses were needed in the area.

Cllr Pritchard said on Friday that his group had “lost confidence” in the latest plan after discussing a letter from inspectors about the proposed Gypsy and Traveller site in Llay.

In a statement, he said: “The letter expressed very serious reservations regarding the inclusion of a site which is in a country park and green wedge, particularly that its inclusion conflicts with national planning policy.

“The Independent Group on Wrexham County Borough Council has lost confidence in the process and unanimously decided that it will no longer support the LDP.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said it was “committed to a plan led approach” to development across Wales.

They said: “Maintaining up-to-date local development plans is essential for delivering certainty in decision making and the delivery of homes, jobs and infrastructure for our local communities.

“However LDPs should ensure sufficient land is available in appropriate and sustainable locations.

“The Welsh Government does not set a specific level of housing for each local planning authority when they are preparing an LDP.

“Planning Policy Wales focuses on the creation of sustainable communities and ensures the impact of development, differing land-uses, and new requirements for physical and social infrastructure to meet a communities needs are taken into account when LDPs are prepared.”

A call by Plaid Cymru to scrap the LDP is due to be discussed by councillors in December.

Meanwhile, a meeting between the inspectors and council officers is also scheduled early in the month to discuss their concerns.