Concerns have been raised that the potential creation of around 145 new homes could change the identity of a small Flintshire community.
Bloor Homes has signalled its intention to enter a planning application for land which borders the hamlet of Bretton and Broughton Retail Park.
The site off Bretton Road is currently listed as farming land and the housing company has asked Flintshire Council to determine whether an environmental impact assessment is required ahead of submitting the proposals.
The firm has argued that such an evaluation would not be necessary as it does not meet the criteria set out in planning legislation.
However, a leading politician has raised fears that the scheme could have a damaging impact on the countryside.
Dozens of residents have also voiced worries through social media about the added pressure it would put on nearby schools, roads and health services.
Cllr Billy Mullin, who represents the Broughton North East ward on the local authority and is also part of the ruling Labour cabinet, said: “I have got concerns because as far as I can see it will be new-builds in the open countryside.
“That’s an area I’m really worried about because Bretton is a lovely place, which is very quiet and has a little chapel.
“At the end of the day, this would change the whole identity of Bretton.
“I agree with development in general, but I think 145 houses is a bit over the top.
“It’s no more than what we expect from big builders now.”
The Leicestershire-based firm has already built 130 properties as part of the nearby Parc Jasmin development.
Access to the new site would be provided from both Bretton Lane and Bretton Road.
In a letter to the council, consultants representing the company said full details of the proposals would be revealed once an application is entered.
Nick Lee, managing director of NJL Consulting, also suggested that an environmental impact assessment would not be required.
He said: “We are writing on behalf of our client, Bloor Homes, to seek a screening opinion from the local planning authority under the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2017.
“In undertaking the screening assessment, the question to be addressed is whether the proposed development would be likely to have significant effects on the environment.
“The development includes 145 dwellings, which does not exceed the 150 dwelling threshold set out at section 10B.
“The overall area of development is also below five hectares.
“Therefore, it is considered an environmental impact assessment is not required based on the thresholds set out within Schedule 2.”
Flintshire Council is aiming to decide whether such an assessment is required by the end of the month.
Bloor Homes has been asked to respond to the concerns raised by Cllr Mullin.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).