An appeal has been launched after plans to build houses on a former Polish hospital site on the outskirts of Wrexham county borough were refused.

Llannerch Panna in Penley was one of three field hospitals set up in the old Maelor district in 1946 after World War Two.

It followed Winston Churchill pledging to provide free care for Polish war veterans settling in the UK.

Most of the buildings at the site off Tudor Drive have since been demolished and an application was submitted towards the end of last year to build 17 houses on it.

The proposals were later refused by planning officers from Wrexham Council because of the land being located outside of the village's settlement boundary, the loss of woodland caused by the development and the impact on wildlife.

However, landowner James Sadowski has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to have the decision overturned.

Consultants acting on his behalf said permission should be given due to a claimed shortage of houses in the area.

In a statement, they said: “It is clear that there has been a prolonged and consistent under-delivery of housing within Wrexham over many years and it is not a problem that any future adoption of the Local Development Plan can put right.

“In these circumstances, considerable weight should be attached to the benefit of providing additional housing on the appeal site.

“The appeal site has had planning permission for residential redevelopment in the past and it represents a logical extension to the existing settlement on a site where development would not be of material detriment to the character of the area.

“Although the appeal site forms part of a woodland area that is the subject of a tree protection order, the great majority of the trees upon the site are failing and falling of their own accord due to them being largely rooted in concrete and shale, this is an ongoing process and such ‘value’ that the site has will progressively reduce.”

They added: “The ecological interest within the appeal site is extremely limited, it is difficult to understand on what basis it was ever justified for designation as a local wildlife site.

“For the above reasons it is clear that none of the three reasons for refusal are justified.”

A decision will be made on the appeal by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.