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Wrexham councillors to vote on adoption of Local Development Plan for third time

Wrexham Guildhall

WREXHAM Councillors are faced with two options next week in their vote on whether to adopt the Local Development Plan (LDP) for the third time.

Next Week’s Extraordinary Meeting (Wednesday, December 20) will see councillors vote on the adoption of the LDP, which was rejected twice before in April and June amid concerns about some of the sites included in it and the overall impact on the city’s infrastructure.

The LDP is a requirement of local authorities by the Welsh Government to make land available for development. Wrexham’s proposed plan was drafted to allocate sites where around 8,000 homes and major developments could be built in the county borough.

The plan went out to public consultation five years ago and was examined and tweaked by the government and independent inspectors who deemed the plan sound to adopt earlier this year.

However, a consortium of developers brought a Judicial Review after the council’s failure to adopt which took place at the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre on November 29.

The Judge ordered that the Council decisions in April and June are quashed and remitted the LDP back to Wrexham County Borough Council for adoption. Wrexham Council were also ordered to pay £100,000 in costs to the claimants.

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A report into the adoption of the LDP recommends that it be adopted, to comply with the court order made the Judge, and to comply with the “legal duty under the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005 to adopt the LDP”.

It would also mean avoiding any “further legal costs being incurred by the Council failing to comply with its legal duty to adopt the LDP”.

The report outlines the two options councillors are left with.

Option 1 : “Adopt the LDP

The process for adoption will be followed through including publication. The Council is liable for the costs of the Judicial Review claim.
However, Option 2 is: “Do not adopt the LDP

The case will return to Court for further consideration by the Judge. This will incur liability for further legal costs payable by the Council.

When a court order is breached, the judge can make an order for contempt of court and the court may impose a period of imprisonment, a fine, confiscation of assets or other punishment permitted by law.