Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wrecsam Council backs Plaid call to reject 12,000 housing demand

Wrecsam Council tonight agreed to back our motion opposing attempts to impose 12,000 new houses on our borough. Despite attempts by Labour to stop the motion, they eventually and reluctantly backed the call to respect local community wishes to limit development. This is how the motion was presented:

We are in total agreement in our opposition to attempts by the Planning Inspectorate to impose unsustainable housing development on Wrecsam. In this, we’re supported by the people of Wrecsam, who made it clear during a two-year consultation that they did not want excessive levels of housing built on our playing fields and green spaces. We have a duty to listen to that consultation and to represent our communities, where we have already seen large-scale housing developments over the past decade.

To continue with that level of development would threaten our communities in terms of our schools, our road networks, our health service, our identity and social cohesion.

We need a housing strategy that addresses the very real housing needs in Wxm – affordable homes to meet local community need. I challenge anyone here not to be aware of the pressure for more genuinely affordable housing that is within reach of local pockets.

That is a world away from the top-down and abstract projections made by the Welsh Government’s officials, which in turn allowed the Planning Inspector to announce that we need to up the numbers of houses from 8,055 to 11,700 – a 45% increase. More specifically, the inspector said this would mean building on open spaces and green fields because this is what housing developers want.

That is not what Wrecsam people want. Do we really need to repeat the argument against building on the Nine-Acre Field? Do we need to spell out that the green barriers that separate our villages should not be eroded and Tarmaced over?

More importantly, should we put up with a Planning Inspector dictating to an entire borough about an issue that will have fundamental implications for our future?

That’s why we’ve brought this motion before you – to ensure that the democratic voice of Wrecsam is heard loud and clear. We’ve seen this kind of rapid development for the past decade and that past decade has seen affordability become a bigger problem. Building houses in our communities without regard for local people does not solve problems, it makes them worse.

Please support this motion; send a clear message to the Planning Inspectorate and, more importantly, to the people of Wrecsam that we have listened to them and we are acting on their behalf.


"Given the significant levels of public concern and objections to Planning Inspectorate proposals to significantly increase the housing allocation in the LDP and allocate greenfield land for housing, this Council:

1) supports housing development based on local wishes that is affordable and accessible to the local community;

2) does not support unsustainable large-scale development based on flawed population projections;

3) calls upon the Welsh Government to conduct a major review of planning policy in Wales with the aim of halting urban sprawl and better reflecting the needs of the local community;

4) calls upon the Welsh Government to implement an immediate moratorium on large-scale housing development of greenfield land outside settlement limits whilst it conducts this review;

5) invites all other councils in Wales to support this call."

Yn sgil pryderon y cyhoedd a'r gwrthwynebiad i fwriad y Arolygwyr Cynllunio i gynyddu'n sylweddol y nifer o dai yn y Cynllun Datblygu Lleol a defnyddio tir glas ar gyfer tai, mae'r Cyngor yma yn:

1) Cefnogi datblygiadau tai yn seiliedig ar ddymuniadau lleol ag sy'n fforddiadwy ac ar gael i'r gymuned leol;

2) gwrthod cefnogi datblygiadau mawr anghynaliadwy yn seiliedig ar rhagamcanion poblogaeth methiedig;

3) galw ar LLywodraeth Cymru i gynnal arolwg manwl o bolisi cynllunio yng Nghymru gyda'r bwriad o roi stop ar orddatblygu ac adlewyrchu anghenion lleol yn well;

4) galw ar Llywodraeth Cymru i roi stop ar ddatblygiadau tai mawrion ar dir glas tu allan i gymunedau tra cynhelir yr adolygiad yma;

5) gwahodd pob cyngor arall yng Nghymru i gefnogi hyn.

The cross-party support for this motion further isolates Labour AM Ken Skates and Labour MP Susan Elan Jones, who have been actively arguing for these 12,000 homes. If they can't even persuade their own Labour councillors, who spend more time in the area than they do, what hope is there for convincing the rest of the local population.

Wrecsam now joins Conwy in standing up to the flawed population projections and challenging the Planning Inspectorate and Welsh Government's bureaucrats. Other councils are also under pressure to build on greenfield sites - watch this space for growing resistance!


Plaid Gwersyllt said...

It was a great result and thanks to all but a few rump Independents for supporting the motion.

Mr West Chshire said...

Strange, but I thought you lived in Wrexham not Wrecsam! What is with you Nationalists, that you have to try and change the label used for you town and alienate 90% of your local Non Welsh speaking population?
If the homes are not needed, then they won't all be built. The market will decide. If you thought by would all be filled by Welsh speaking Welsh people, then you wouldn't have a problem. You just fear thy will all be Enlish speaking people from Cheshire!
Just be honest. You fear the further anglicisation of your town by your dominant and more powerful and sucessful neighbour!
Good luck, I think you may need it!

Anonymous said...

As an independent councillor who voted for the motion I would like to add my congratulations especially on forcing Labour members to support it, that was a pleasure to watch.

Anonymous said...

Mr West Cheshire (gives the game away doesn't it)
The reason why Wrecsam is used is because there is no X in the Welsh alphabet doh (but of course we wouldn't expect you to know that would we)

Anonymous said...

"If the homes are not needed, then they won't all be built. The market will decide."

This isn't how capitalism works. Have you not heard of speculative development?

Anonymous said...

It was a nice trap you set for Labour, shame they didn't fall for it. Labour did everything to try to block the motion but in the end they had to support it.

Anonymous said...

The market will decide

But the market doesn't work, capitalism doesn't work; isn't that why were in this mess.

The Red Flag said...

Mr West Chshire - you are exactly the reason why the Motion was needed.

You are as ignorant as you are arrogant - and believe me your arrogance is huge.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Very important that the council spoke with one voice on this and joins other councils across Wales in condemning the Planning Inspectorate and Welsh Govt projections.
Labour councillors didn't want this to be debated, to their shame, but backed it in the end. Their previous attempts when running this council in 2003 to build on the 9-Acre Field will come back to haunt them this time round...