STOOD FIRM: Opposition to car park expansion for Wrexham car showroom
A planning official has stood firm in his advice for plans to extend the car park of a Wrexham car showroom to be refused.
It comes despite a warning that the rejection of proposals for the Lindop Toyota dealership in Bradley could result in the loss of 30 jobs.
The application was first considered by Wrexham Council’s planning committee in March, where permission was recommended to be turned down because of concerns over how it would impact an area of green barrier land.
Councillors placed their decision on hold after business owner Steve Hopewell told them it was likely to result in the firm losing its franchise and closing due to being unable to meet Toyota’s capacity standards.
However, despite the company providing evidence of public backing for the development, the local authority’s chief planning officer has stood by his initial recommendation.
Ahead of a planning committee meeting beind held next week, Lawrence Isted said in a report: “The applicant has submitted additional information in the form of a letter dated April 12, 2021, which sets out a list of alternative sites and a signed list of residents and neighbours in support of the development.
“The key issue is whether the additional information submitted results in the proposed development constituting ‘very exceptional circumstances’ as to warrant granting approval of the extension of the site in this green barrier location.
“The proposal does not meet all of the tests set out and the harm that would arise to the environment would not be outweighed by any economic and social benefits arising from the proposal.
“Whilst no local objections have been received at the time of writing, this again is not a reason to justify granting planning permission.
“The recommendation for refusal remains unchanged.”
Speaking at March’s meeting, Mr Hopewell said extra space was needed at the dealership to cater for an increase in electric car sales.
He said it would also allow for the installation of electric charging points and the creation of five new jobs.
He also warned of the likely outcome if permission was refused.
He said: “I can actually say with unfortunate certainty that if our planning application is rejected then Lindop Wrexham won’t meet future requirements.
“That will trigger a sequence of events which basically will see us being swallowed.
“We will have the chance to revise our plan in early 2022, however, based on current circumstances, we really can’t see what we could do as an alternative.”
A deferral was suggested at the meeting by Labour group leader Dana Davies, who said she supported the economic benefits the development would bring.
The proposals will be considered for a second time at Monday’s (September 6, 2021) meeting.
Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter
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