Planning Application on hold after Welsh Government intervene
We welcome and are relieved by the decision of the Welsh Government on 7th January to call-in Wrexham Councils' planning application to build a school on Nine Acre Field. The Planning Committee subsequently deferred its consideration of the application when it met on the 10th January.
Full statement on Leader Live website
Outline Planning Permission to be decided on Monday 10th January 2022
The outline planning application will be presented to the Planning Committee on Monday 10th January 2022 at 4pm.
The Council have made some additional documents available on the planning website, which attempt to deal with the highways issues raised by our consultant last year. However, these fall short of being definitive solutions. We urge all supporters to contact the Planning Committee members and voice your concerns about allowing the field to be lost to development. This could be your last chance to make a difference.
The document that the Councillors will be considering is here. However, we have added our own thoughts and comments to this version, so please read those as well.
You can e-mail all the Councillors on the committee by using the mailing tool on this page.
Nine Acre Campaign Group objection to Outline Planning application
We have commissioned a full technical evaluation of the Councils outline planning application, and their transport statement that forms part of the application. Our consultants have produced reports that highlight the many reasons why the field isn't a suitable location for a new primary school. You can find copies of these reports on our Community funded reports page.
Wrexham Council submits Outline Planning Permission application
As expected, the Council has submitted an application for Outline Planning Permission to build a school on Nine Acre Field. The design has changed considerably since the Pre-Planning Consultation, but still involves a massive loss of open green space, and some major traffic interventions.
Objections to the plans can be submitted using reference number P/2021/0680 before Monday 9th August 2021.
We have placed copies of the plans, and reasons why you should object on THIS page.
Our revised vision for Nine Acre Field is released
After collating the feedback we received from the survey last year, we took our initial plan for the field back to the drawing board. We've now designed what we believe to be an inclusive public park, taking into consideration as many of the ideas suggested where practical. The revised park plan is on this page, and you can also read more about the design concept here. Note that this is still a work in progress, and changes to the design can still be made. We needed more detailed plans in order to approach potential funding organisations to see whether we would be able to apply for a grant etc.
Protect it for the health and well-being of current and future Wrexham residents
An open letter to all Councillors
Whilst we await the next move from Wrexham Council, which will undoubtedly be a full planning application, we have e-mailed an open letter to all Councillors, asking for their support in our fight to protect what little green space we have left. A copy of the letter can be found here .
The Pre-Planning Consultation is now closed
Wrexham Council ran a pre-planning consultation on its plan to build a non-state school on the Nine Acre Field. The consultation closed on 16 August 2020. We know there was a strong level of objection expressed not just by communities in the immediate vicinity of the field, but from all over Wrexham County and further afield, despite the fact that the consultation was carried out in the midst of a national pandemic. Wrexham Council failed to notify one of the statutory consultees (Fields in Trust, who represent Sports Wales). Fortunately, after we alerted Fields In Trust, they managed to obtain an extension to the consultation, and submitted their own objection.
The Nine Acre Field Campaign Group retained PWA Planning to evaluate the consultation documents. Their report was submitted as the Nine Acre Campaign Groups formal objection to the proposed school. The report shows that the Councils plan goes against local and national planning policy. A copy of the report is available here.
Our expectation is that the Council will now submit an outline planning application in due course. This could be within weeks or it may take longer. Either way we will be ready for the next phase of the campaign to save the Nine Acre Field from the Councils short-sighted plan. We will be fine tuning our alternative vision for the future of the field, whilst our planning consultants will be ready to challenge the application on a technical level.
Wrexham Councils plan for the Nine Acre Field
The details of Wrexham Councils short-sighted plan for the Nine Acre Field are available HERE. The main points are:
- By proposing that St Marys School re-locates to the Nine Acre Field, the Council is going back on its previous declaration in 2004 to preserve the field as a public amenity and that it would explore ways to open up the field for greater public access. It also stated in 2017 that the field was unsuitable for development.
- Wrexham Council and the Catholic Diocese (which operates St Marys School) might think this is a 'done deal', but we reject the idea that the Nine Acre Field should become private property, with no future opportunity for public use. This is a bad deal for Wrexham, bad for the environment and sets a bad precedent for our other open green spaces.
- The Council will argue that replacing a precious green space with a primary school to which 420 pupils and staff are driven to and from each day won't affect road safety, commute times, congestion, parking, noise and light pollution, and emission levels. We know different. We know exactly what will happen, and it won't be good for the communities that surround the field or for the attractiveness and reputation of Wrexham as a place to live and work.
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