Shropshire Star

Chirk travellers' site approved at appeal

Controversial plans for a travellers' site on the Shropshire border have been approved at appeal stage by a planning inspector.


The planning application was originally lodged by Mary Berry in 2015, to use the land adjacent to the bungalow on Old Black Park Road next to the Halton roundabout at Chirk to provide seven traveller pitches.

The application had been refused by Wrexham County Borough Council on the grounds of vehicular access, highway safety and visibility.

But the applicant appealed the decision and this week planning inspector Melissa Hall has allowed the appeal, granting permission for the travellers' site, despite being met with strong opposition from residents and councillors.

At an appeal hearing in April, residents raised concerns about the proximity of the site to the airfield.

They also said the road near to the site was "dangerous" and called for improvements to be made.

But Ms Hall said no accidents with injuries had been recorded on the stretch of road in more than a decade.

She said: "I have taken into account the concerns of interested parties that the road is busy, with high volumes of traffic coming from the A5/ A483 bypass and the main community at Black Park. In particular, concern was expressed regarding the volume of traffic associated with the large car boot sale every Sunday and HGV’s emerging from the council's highway depot.

"Residents contend that, together with high traffic speeds, the road alignment and blind junctions emerging onto Old Black Park Road make the highway conditions unsafe and unsuitable for an additional access.

"However, no details of actual accidents were put before me. Rather the appellant's highway consultant confirmed that the collision accident data had been reviewed and there have been no recorded injury accidents at the various accesses and junctions along the relevant section of Old Black Park Road for a period in excess of 10 years. This matter has not therefore altered the conclusions I have reached.

"Consequently, I find that the proposal would not be materially harmful to highway safety."

She added: "At the hearing, interested parties also raised concern regarding the site's proximity to the airport, with resultant issues associated with health and safety, and noise/disturbance for future occupants.

"The council did not take issue with either of these matters in coming to its decision and there is no compelling evidence before me that leads me to any other conclusions in this regard."