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Housing development on former garden centre at county border set to be decided

Plans for the development at the former Spectrum Garden Centre in Cefn-y-Bedd (Pic: Flintshire Council planning documents)

A DERELICT former garden centre on the Flintshire / Wrexham border looks set to make way for a mix of houses and flats.

Flintshire Council’s planning committee will consider the proposal to develop 20 one-bedroom cottage flats, seven three-bedroom houses and three two-bedroom houses at the former Spectrum Garden Centre on Wrexham Road in Cefn-y-Bedd.

A council planning officer report prepared ahead of the meeting recommends that councillors give the development, which would wholly comprise of affordable housing, the green light.

In the report, Flintshire Council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow says the proposals by Kingscrown Land and Commercial Ltd as it complies with the Local Development Plan (LDP) and would remove a local ‘eyesore’.

He said: “The site has operated as a garden centre and DIY store for many years as well as accommodating a range of other uses in the associated peripheral buildings.

“Following its closure, the site has remained vacant and is now in a poor almost derelict condition.

“The immediate view of the site from Wrexham Road is unsightly and has been referred to as an eyesore. The proposed development would bring an immediate betterment to the site and the wider surroundings, providing a scheme that delivers housing to the area, affordable housing opportunities, removes sources of contamination, and provides for ecological enhancements.”

The report adds: “The buildings are a mixture of two and three storey buildings and the developer has pepper potted the smaller two-storey houses, and two-storey cottage apartment blocks amongst the larger apartment building and three-storey narrow townhouse row.

“This helps to create a more interesting aesthetic and variety on the site and also breaks up the bulk of the larger structures.”

The former Spectrum Garden Centre in Cefn-y-Bedd (Pic: Flintshire Council planning documents)

If the development is given the go-ahead, the children’s play area at nearby Wyndham Avenue is in line for upgrades, and almost £37,000 would be provided towards a new toilet block at Castell Alun High School in Hope.

A concern has been raised over the prevailing speed of the highway, and the resultant safety of users of the road due to vehicles accessing and leaving the site.

The chief planning officer’s report noted that the highways department has raised no objection to the proposal, and it is also a material consideration that the previous use of the site was as a commercial garden centre with traffic movements when the site was in use.

In his report, Mr Farrow adds: “This proposal represents an appropriate reuse of derelict and unsightly brownfield land on the edge of a sustainable settlement. The proposal would provide affordable dwellings that are needed in the local vicinity and appropriately mitigates all other material planning constraints on the site.”

Flintshire Council’s planning committee will have the final say when it meets on Wednesday (October 25).

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