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Councillors call for retailers to invest in Llay so infrastructure matches growing population

Llay Royal British Legion (Pic: Google Street View)

LLAY councillors are still hopeful retailers will consider moving to a site within the village after plans for a new convenience store fell through earlier this year.

In January it was confirmed that the Co-op had pulled out of an approved development, earmarked for the grounds of the Royal British Legion on Llay New Road, as part of a wider plan to build 51 houses.

Planning permission was granted several years ago and while progress on the development has also been held-up by phosphates issues according to county councillors, the Co-op confirmed it had withdrawn interest in the location at the end of January.

At the time that decision was described as a ‘massive blow’ to residents by Llay Cllr Bryan Apsley (Lab).

Cllr Bryan Apsley

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Llay’s two county councillors said that although no other retailer has stepped forward since to try and rekindle that aspect of the plans, there is keen appetite amongst residents for such a development in that part of the village.

Cllr Apsley (Lab) said: “There’s been very little interest as far as I’m aware.

“One bit of interest turned out to just be a rumour and times are difficult, but it would be a shame if there wasn’t something as there’s very little in that part of the village.

“We’ve got the new Aldi which has helped but not everyone can drive there.

“Time is running down on the planning permission so if someone is interested they’ll have to move quickly.”

According to fellow Llay Cllr Rob Walsh (Ind), it is felt that the increase in the village’s population in recent years has yet to be matched by a similar growth in amenities and infrastructure.

Llay Cllr Rob Walsh

He said: “I’ve not heard of anything at all. Everyone’s wondering what’s going to happen next.

“The land is earmarked for commercial use and it would be good if there were any businesses out there who would consider it.

“In Llay we’re always looking for new businesses, particularly retail.

“The new Aldi has been a major success and I think people in Llay would be lost without it now, but for a village of our size we’re always on the look-out for more.

“If you look at Coedpoeth as an example there are lots more shops and retail outlets which Llay does not have.

“During the LDP (Local Development Plan) process Llay was identified as a Tier 2 settlement and of course we’ve got the industrial estate nearby too.

“With an extra 50 odd houses to be built as part of the planning permission, having a shop nearby would be useful especially as the south side of the village, the bottom end as we call it, doesn’t have any shops at all.

“My message to anyone interested in the site is that Llay would be a great place to be.”