Hillock Lane Action Group is opposed to the proposed development to build 109 houses on land off Hillock Lane. The proposed development would be highly detrimental to Hillock Lane and the village of Gresford as a whole. Additionally, the proposed development runs contrary to a number of local and national planning policies. Our specific objections to the proposed development are set out below.
- The land in question is BMV Grade 2 and conflicts with Wrexham UDP Policy EC2 and should be refused under the UDP Policy to protect this valuable land resource.
- The Site is not in the LDP and is Best and Most Versatile (BMV) Grade 2 agricultural land. Grades 1, 2 and 3a should only be developed if there is an overriding need for the development. As no sequential test has been carried out by the developer or WCBC as required by PPW10 paragraphs 3.54 and 3.55 this application should be refused.
- The land is inappropriate development situated outside the existing settlement boundary and such development contravenes Wrexham CBC UDP Policy PS1, PS2 and PS3.
- The site proposes development in the open countryside and therefore contravenes Wrexham CBC UDP Policy H5 which precludes development in such locations, therefore warranting refusal.
- The purposes of the Green Barrier set out in paragraph EC1 of Wrexham CBC UDP reflect those in PPW10 paragraphs 3.69 to 3.71 to protect the countryside and to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment. The development clearly does not accord with these policy requirements and should be refused.
- The proposed development would protrude over 200m into the open countryside surrounding Gresford. The development area would not have a clear boundary with the open fields to the south, and the development would be very clearly visible from the surrounding countryside. The proposed development would therefore detrimentally impact the countryside, the local landscape and setting, open space, and the quality of the natural environment. The development is therefore contrary to UDP policy PS2.
- The proposed development would not have a clear and defensible boundary with the open fields to the south. This lays open the possibility of further development on a huge and undesirable scale to the south and west. The landowner has signaled his intention to pursue development on the wider 68 acre site, and to allow this would result in the obliteration of the countryside and agricultural land surrounding Gresford. This would be contrary to UDP policies EC1, EC2, PS1, PS2, H5 and PPW10 paras 54 – 3.55, 3.68 – 3.71.
- The proposed site was considered and rejected as a development site in the consultations for the forthcoming Wrexham Local Development Plan.
- The application conflicts with Wrexham CBC UDP Policy PS4 as the development, due to its location, will result in greater use of motorcars in direct contravention of this policy objective.
- The proposed development would lead to an unacceptable increase in traffic on Hillock Lane. The development is forecast to increase traffic on Hillock Lane by over 50% at peak hours. This increase in traffic is liable to cause congestion at the priority controlled junctions on adjoining Chester Road and Wynstay Lane. The forecast increase in vehicular traffic along Hillock Lane would also constitute a risk to pedestrian safety.
- It is clear from the applicant’s traffic surveys that a substantial number of existing Hillock Lane residents access Hillock Lane by car via Wynstay Lane at peak hours. The proposed development would increase traffic travelling along Wynstay Lane. Wynstay Lane is a very narrow, single track country lane not suited to carrying additional traffic generated by what would be a substantial new development.
- The proposed development will negatively affect the public footpath Marford and Hoseley No. 5. The proposed development will require this footpath to be diverted. Moreover, by urbanizing the area around the footpath, the proposed development fails to protect and improve the footpath and would therefore contrary to UDP policy CLF6 and PPW10 Section 6.2.
- The damage being proposed to 200m of hedgerows conflicts with the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 and WCBC Policy EC4 and should be refused.
- Documents submitted along with the planning application note that there is an active badger set on the site which would be disturbed by the development. The damage likely to be inflicted on the bio-diversity on this site is against Wrexham CBC UDP Policy EC6 and the Wales Government Planning Circular 23rd October 2019 requiring compliance with PPW10 paragraph 6.5.4 and should be refused.
- As a result of failure by the developer to undertake full archaeology investigations on the site prior to the submission of this Outline Planning Application it therefore contravenes Wrexham CBC UDP Policy EC11. PPW 10 paragraph 6.1.24.
- The site apparently contains valuable mineral resources and Mineral Protection for a site of 4.0ha and above is required under UDP Policy MW9 and PPW10 5.14.2 (Minerals). The building out of this site will sterilize this valuable mineral resource and therefore should be refused.
- The local Doctor’s Practice (Alyn Family Doctors) serving Gresford, Llay, Marford and Rossett together with a substantial number of patients in England between Rossett and Chester cannot accommodate any more residents on their list. On 23rd August 2018, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board made a response to a consultation on a planning proposal for 132 houses in Rossett (P/2018/0560). The Board noted that Alyn Family Doctors was ‘under pressure’ and that ‘any additional patient demand will increase existing pressures’. As the practice is operating beyond its capacity, PPW10 Paragraph 3.21 applies and WCBC UDP Policy GDP2 applies so that the development must be refused.
- The proposed development cannot be justified by claims that the local authority lacks adequate housing land supply. The Minister for Housing and Local Government announced on 26th March 2020 that Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 was to be revoked with immediate effect. Any attempt by the applicant to reference the local authority’s lack of a 5-year land bank therefore no longer carries any weight. To the contrary WCBC have demonstrated in LDP Document BP08b that they have 5-year land bank.