MORE than 20 new homes can be built on the former Air Products factory site in Acrefair, councillors have ruled.

Wrexham Council’s planning committee has given the green light for the development of 21 three to four-bedroom houses on the former factory land off Llangollen Road.

Planning officer Matthew Phillips told members that a key factor in the proposal’s favour was the positive impact it would have on the approach to World Heritage Site.

Mr Phillips said that the site in its current state “detracts” from the approach, adding that this development would be a marked improvement.

The site has stood vacant for more than a decade since the factory was closed, which at the time resulted in 200 job losses, while this planning application has been in the pipeline for two years.

“This is an important redevelopment of the former Air Products site”, Mr Phillips said.

“It will make an important contribution to the immediate vicinity and will also re-use one of the largest brownfield sites left undeveloped in the county borough.”

But for the second time during the meeting, concern was expressed that a local ward member’s comments had not been taken into consideration in the planning officer’s report.

Earlier, Llay Cllr Bryan Apsley had complained that his objections to plans for a Christmas tree farm and reindeer centre in Cefn-y-Bedd had not been recorded by planning officers in the report for that agenda item.

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Speaking on behalf of Acrefair North Cllr Paul Blackwell (Lab) who was not at the meeting, Cefn West Cllr Stella Matthews (Lab), passed on his frustration that comments he had submitted about the application had not been included in the planning officer report for this proposed development.

Cllr Matthews pointed out that she had not been consulted on the application as adjoining ward member, the second planning meeting in a row this had happened for an application in the Acrefair ward.

Planning committee chair, Holt Cllr Mike Morris (Con) asked officers again to look at why Cllr Blackwell’s comments had not come through in the process, as he did earlier with Cllr Apsley’s complaint.

Both Cllr Matthews and Cllr Apsley supported this application, with Cllr Apsley adding that he had received a request to mention special bricks be used in the development to accommodate spruce nests.

Mr Phillips said there was a proposal for bird boxes as part of a wider scheme for bio-diversity net gain.

Members voted to grant the application. Another part of the old Air Products site is being developed for affordable homes by the Clwyd Alyn Housing Association.