'Enough is enough' says Plaid AM
More than 100 people packed Denbigh Town Hall last night to voice their opposition to plans for thousands of extra houses in Denbighshire.
Campaigners are opposed to the proposals to increase the number of homes allocated to communities across Denbighshire by a further 1,000. The new housing plan has been proposed by Denbighshire planners after the Planning Inspectorate rejected the council's Local Development Plan.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales AM, spoke at the meeting, pointing out that the Planning Inspectorate was not accountable or answerable to local people or even the National Assembly. Mr Gruffydd, who lives near Ruthin, added: "They have ignored local communities and elected councillors' views to impose these extra homes on us. They do so because they are guided by artificially inflated population projections that do not reflect natural organic growth.
"This is in addition to the thousands of homes already announced and is a pattern that is being repeated across Wales. Enough is enough!
"We're in danger of seeing an urban sprawl from Prestatyn to Llanfairfechan, good agricultural land being concreted over, our transport network failing to cope and our schools and health services overwhelmed. It's an ill-thought out proposal that doesn't seem bothered that there are no extra jobs for these people - so we will see an increase in commuting to Chester and Merseyside - at greater cost to the environment.
"Of course we need some housing - we want to enable young people to stay in their communities. That means creating jobs, training opportunities and affordable housing. This plan delivers none of those things. I want to see a positive alternative that puts community need first."
He called for an accountable Planning Inspectorate for Wales, urged community campaigners to lobby the council to reject these additional houses and spoke of the growing movement across Wales against the imposition of new housing, including in neighbouring counties Conwy and Wrexham.
Other speakers included John Hutcheson and Alice Jones, of Bodelwyddan Development Action Group - who have been campaigning for years against plans to impose an extra 1700 homes on their village. Mr Hutcheson described Bodelwyddan as "one battle in this war" and that the new homes should be opposed equally as strongly as they had been in Bodelwyddan.
Joining them was Councillor Arwel Roberts, of Rhuddlan, where the new scheme intends to allocate green fields for an additional 100 homes next to the golf course.
The meeting agreed to lobby Denbighshire Council's full council meeting in December. Contact is also being made with other campaign groups throughout Wales facing similar situations.