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Plans for former village Co-op approved by Wrexham Council 

The former Co-op site in Cefn Mawr (Pic: Google Street View)

NEW life is to be breathed into the former Co-op site in the Wrexham village of Cefn Mawr.

Wrexham Council’s planning committee has approved change of use for the Well Street building from retail so it can be used as a storage and distribution facility.

The committee considered the application from Garob Oswald Road Ltd which will see the site back in use after many years vacant.

Seven years ago campaigners in the village had pushed for the site to be used for a new health centre, but there were concerns about the condition of the building and parking.

Members considered a planning officer’s report which outlined the plans, stating: “The site is occupied by a redundant retail building with associated forecourt accessed from Well Street.

“The site is bounded by a low stone wall fronting the highway and vegetation to the rear boundary which would be unaffected by the development.

“Given the length of time the site has now been redundant, it is in a poor state of repair and the reuse of the site is welcomed. The elevations of the building will be altered and the internal floor space changed to enable the building to be split into six separate units.”

Recommending approval, planning officer Matthew Phillips said: “This used to be a retail unit, it’s been vacant for a number of years.

“The shop fronts would be replaced by roller shutters to facilitate access to the proposed units. The overall alterations to the building are acceptable, it’s a fairly basic appearance in any case.

“The main concern raised has been intensity of use and the associated noise and traffic. There are no restrictions on the existing retail use from a planning point of view, it could be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week – that would include staff and delivery vehicles to and from the site.”

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Mr Phillips added that the opening hours proposed by the applicant were 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 6pm on Sunday’s.

Councillors welcomed the regeneration aspect of the plans but had concerns about those opening hours, with Stansty Cllr I David Bithell (Ind) requesting they be made a condition of approval.

Llay Cllr Bryan Apsley (Lab) said: “Reuse of the site is obviously welcomed.

“It’s been in that condition for quite a few years.”

Chirk North Frank Hemmings (Lab) added: “It’s the 8am to 6pm on Sunday that concerns me, I don’t know whether we could review that because it is fairly close to a lot of residential properties.”

Chairing the meeting Holt Cllr Mike Morris (Con) said he had considered that himself but that the building was previously home to a Co-op which tended to be open later seven days a week.

Ruabon Cllr Dana Davies (Lab) said: “I’m really pleased this is finally being redeveloped and I think the area will benefit from that.

“It’s been a vacant property for a number of years now.”

The committee voted unanimously to grant the plans.