Posted: Mon 27th Jun 2022

Appeal over refusal of Flint housing plans dismissed over impact on bats

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 27th, 2022

An appeal over the refusal of plans to demolish a house in Flint to make way for 18 new ones has been dismissed amid concerns about the impact on bats.

An application was made to Flintshire Council in November 2019 to develop land at Bryn Road in the town, which is located near the Mill Tavern pub.

Permission was turned down by the local authority’s planning committee in July last year because of concerns it would represent the “overdevelopment” of the site.

The lack of detail about the proposed road layout was also highlighted as a reason for the scheme being rejected by councillors despite officers recommending approval.

Niall Wallace, who is behind the proposals, lodged an appeal with Planning and Environment Decisions Wales at the start of this year in a bid to have the decision overturned.

However, a planning inspector appointed to oversee the case has thrown the appeal out because of a lack of detail about how it would impact on bats.

In his decision notice, Hywel Wyn Jones said: “In relation to bats, which are also a protected species, the preliminary ecological assessment (PEA) explains that there are records of common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle bats within one kilometre of the site and records of other species within five kilometres.

“Several objectors have raised concerns regarding the impact of developing the site on ecological features.

“As the objection of the town council notes, without additional survey work the potential impact on local bat populations cannot be ascertained.

“It follows that the potential efficacy and practicality of any mitigation measures cannot be established.”

He added: “This is a consideration relevant to the assessment of the acceptability of the principle of the development.

“Thus, on this main issue I find that the scheme would have the potential to unacceptably harm the local bat population.”

In a statement addressing concerns about highways matters, an agent acting on behalf of Mr Wallace said the development would lead to improvements to the road network.

He said the plans would allow Bryn Road to be widened along the entrance to the site to accommodate two-way traffic and provide a footpath.

In his report, Mr Wyn Jones said he had given “significant weight” to the fact the development would boost the local supply of housing.

However, he concluded it would not justify the potential harmful impact it would have on bats found nearby.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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