The Labour Welsh Government is insisting that Welsh councils use flawed population projections to plan for future housing growth in Wrexham. The controversial policy will mean the council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) allocating land for an extra 12,000 houses across the borough by 2028. The two biggest sites are proposed off the Cefn Road (1580 houses) and Ruthin Road near Ysgol Clywedog (1500 houses).
The figures, mainly driven by migration into the county, are prompting growing concerns about the impact on local services and infrastructure.
Plaid Cymru Councillor Carrie Harper has campaigned against over-development in Wrexham for the last decade. She said:
“There is no need locally to build houses on the scale being proposed. We’ve had over-development in Wrexham for many years as it is and we’re seeing the impact of that on key services such as the Maelor Hospital.
“These large-scale developments will cause yet more problems for the town in terms of health, education, roads and other infrastructure. Add to this the savage cuts to other frontline services, such as policing and council budgets thanks to Tory austerity measures and it’s difficult to see this being anything other than a disaster.”
“It’s all based on a false premise that Wrexham’s population will rise by 20% by 2035. It’s a ludicrous over-estimate by the Labour Welsh Government when in fact latest annual figures show a static population with the likelihood of falls due to Brexit and EU nationals going home. These figures were based on previous growth in the 2000s linked to the expansion of Glyndwr, the EU accession states and Cheshire limiting housebuilding around Chester. That was a unique combination of events. That’s not the case now, so there’s no need for these thousands of extra houses.
“It’s a scandal that Labour refuses to listen to reason on this, particularly when the Minister responsible for planning is Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths. Local people have repeatedly said they do not want this level of development but Welsh Government is insisting on it. It’s undemocratic for them to be enabling this free for all for developers.”
Plaid Cymru is committed to challenging Labour’s position and the upcoming Local Development Plan (LDP), which is set to be discussed by Wrexham council in November.