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Wrexham industrial estate expansion plans set to go ahead

How the extension to Wrexham Industrial Estate would look (Pic: Wrexham Council planning documents)

PLANS for a major expansion to Wrexham Industrial Estate look set to go ahead despite concerns over the scale of the development.

In early 2023, the estate’s largest landowner FI Real Estate Management bought a new plot on Bryn Lane measuring around 25 hectares.

An aerial view of where the Wrexham Industrial Estate expansion would be (Pic: Wrexham Council planning documents)

The company later lodged a planning application with Wrexham Council to build up to three warehouse and distribution units at the site, with a collective floorspace of more than a million square feet.

In a planning statement, the firm said the proposals could lead to up to 1,500 jobs being created on the estate over the next four years.

The scheme, which includes more than 650 parking spaces, has now been backed for approval by a senior officer from Wrexham Council ahead of a planning committee meeting next week.

How the extension to Wrexham Industrial Estate would look (Pic: Wrexham Council planning documents)

The recommendation comes despite objections being raised over the visual impact of the development, including by Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton.

Fears have also been voiced regarding the ecological impact and a potential increase in traffic.

In correspondence with the local authority, the Conservative MP said: “Residents have expressed concerns with the height and colour of the proposed buildings, and have requested that building is utilised to reduce the visual impact.

“Other concerns also relate to the possibility of the development exacerbating existing flooding issues within the vicinity, the impacts upon ecology and an increase in HGV traffic.

“Light and noise pollution issues have also been expressed by local residents.”

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Ms Atherton said while was supportive of the general principle of increasing the size of the industrial estate, supporting infrastructure was also required.

Approximately three hectares of the site previously formed part of the old Owens Corning fibreglass manufacturing factory, which closed in 2002.

The remainder covers an area of greenfield land located between sports equipment retailer Net World Sports and a distribution centre operated by the Very Group.

A total of 26 objections have been received in response to the proposals, with members of Isycoed Community Council also voicing their opposition.

However, the council’s chief planning officer has advised councillors to support the application after highlighting the creation of an ecology area to mitigate the impact on the environment.

An aerial view of where the Wrexham Industrial Estate expansion would be (Pic: Wrexham Council planning documents)

David Fitzsimon said upgrades would also be made to several roundabouts connecting the industrial estate to the A483 dual carriageway to address the traffic impact.

In a report, he said: “The National Development Plan for Wales identifies Wrexham and Deeside as a national growth area which will be the main focus for employment, growth and investment within the North Wales region.

“With regards the adopted Wrexham Local Development Plan, the area of the proposed warehouse development itself would lie wholly within the identified Wrexham Industrial Estate employment area. The development is therefore acceptable in principle.

“In terms of scale, the application has been amended during its course to ensure the proposed buildings would have a maximum height to the ridgeline of 25 metres above adjacent ground levels, reduced from 30 metres as originally proposed.

“The development would be served by an existing access of Bryn Lane which already serves the Very warehouse site.

“The highway officer has raised no objections in relation to the proposed vehicular access arrangements and access visibility, and it is therefore considered these would be acceptable in planning terms.”

He added: “The applicant is proposing improvements to several roundabouts forming the strategic road network between the application site and the A483.

“The council’s highway officer, having reviewed the proposed improvement measures, has confirmed they would successfully mitigate the increase in traffic flow arising from the proposed development.”

The proposals will be considered by planning committee members when they meet on Tuesday (May 7, 2024).

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