ENVIRONMENT: Concerns over plans for Chirk Kronospan warehouse
The Kronospan factory in Chirk, Image: Handout from planning document
Concerns have been raised over plans to build a warehouse the length of two football fields at a factory in Chirk.
Kronospan wants to create a storage facility measuring 260 metres by 60 metres at its wood panel manufacturing plant on Holyhead Road.
In documents submitted to Wrexham Council, the company said the purpose of the facility was to “improve the productivity” of the site.
A senior official from the local authority has recommended the scheme for approval ahead of a crunch meeting next week.
However, objections have been lodged by community leaders and residents regarding the scale of the proposals, noise and the potential impact on the environment.
It follows previous plans for a warehouse on the same part of the site being refused on appeal in 2000.
Referencing the decision by the Planning Inspectorate in his response to the latest application, Chirk councillor Terry Evans said: “The size of the development is over two Premier League football fields in length, which would have a detrimental visual impact on a substantial portion of Chirk.
“The appeal decision is a legally binding document and as such sets a legal precedent for the consideration of further planning applications in the vicinity.
“The (planning) inspector voiced concerns that the development close to Holyhead Road would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area.
“He also considered that the proposed development off Holyhead Road would harm the outlook that residents living opposite the proposed site might otherwise reasonably expect to enjoy.
“He considered this to be a significant disadvantage to the proposed development, and indeed it’s my assertion that this would also be applicable to the proposed development.”
Opposition has also been voiced by Chirk Town Council and a number of residents living nearby.
But the council’s chief planning officer disputed Cllr Evans’ claim that the previous decision was legally binding.
In a report to planning committee members, Lawrence Isted also denied the suggestion that the building would have a negative impact on the area.
He said: “The outcome of the appeal is not legally binding in so far as it does not automatically mean that any subsequent proposals for development on this part of the Kronospan site should also be refused.
“In other words, the council (and indeed an appeal inspector) is not bound to follow the previous planning decision.
“Whilst acknowledging that this is a large new warehouse building, the development will not have an adverse impact upon the landscape surrounding Chirk or the visual amenity of the immediate vicinity of the site.
“In addition the proposals will not give rise to adverse impacts upon residential amenity or highway safety or to ecological concerns.”
The proposals will be considered by councillors at a meeting being held on Monday (November 1, 2021).
Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter
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