Controversial plans to build more than 60 new homes in Drury have been thrown out by planners in Flintshire.
Residents have strongly contested Muller Property’s application to demolish one house on Drury Lane and create 66 new ones on land to the north.
Planning committee members were told the property had existed in the community for more than a century, and was a valued part of the area.
They also heard about current pressures at Drury Primary School, where some pupils are being taught in portacabins.
Speaking at a meeting this afternoon, James Bayley, who lives nearby, said allowing the development would be ‘lunacy’.
He said: “81 Drury Lane has been part of the village for well over 130 years and is a property that certainly contributes to the street scene and heritage of the village.
“The property is physically linked to 79 Drury Lane and they even share a chimney.
“The demolition would have a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of the resident of 79 and her property.
“The proposed demolition of a semi-detached house shows the desperation and greed of developers today.
“Drury has encountered more than its fair share of new development and to propose an additional 60 plus homes is lunacy.
“My daughter is currently taught in a portacabin with a mixed aged group and with no access to toilets.”
A petition with 375 signatures was submitted to the council ahead of the debate at County Hall in Mold, which was well attended by residents.
Officers from the authority’s planning department also recommended that the scheme should be turned down because it would harm an area of green barrier land.
Meanwhile, Buckley Pentrobin councillor Dennis Hutchinson (Ind) added to the list of voices against the plans.
He said: “I speak on behalf of residents in Drury, who are all very concerned about this proposal and wish me to object in the strongest terms on their behalf.
“It is an opportunist application designed to capitalise on the fact we do not have a five-year housing supply.
“Pedestrians should be at the forefront of any proposals, especially if the development is likely to cause an increase in traffic volumes.
“Drury Primary School is now operating near capacity and would be unable to cope with the additional children likely to live on a large housing estate of 66 houses.
“Taking into consideration the views and representations of my constituents, I respectfully request members support the recommendation of officers and refuse this application.”
Representatives speaking on behalf of Muller said new homes were ‘much-needed’ in the community.
Technical director Steve Bourne also denied that the development would have a negative impact on neighbours.
He said: “The policies of the Unitary Development Plan support new housing development on allocated sites within the built up area.
“Furthermore, Drury forms part of the more sustainable settlements in the county and therefore is the preferred location for new housing development.
“The proposed development seeks to make efficient use of the land.
“We do not consider that the development would adversely affect the amenity of adjacent residents.”
Councillors unanimously voted against the proposals, although an appeal has already been submitted by the company over the amount of time the authority took to reach its decision.
In response, officers said they felt the delay had been caused by the developers rather than council staff.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).