Posted: Sat 12th Feb 2022

Hawarden: Plans for seven new houses on land previously ‘gifted’ for new community centre refused

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Feb 12th, 2022

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Plans by a developer to build new homes on land it had previously “gifted” to a council to build a new community centre in Hawarden have been refused.

Edwards Homes wanted to build seven three-bed detached houses on a piece of land next to where it recently constructed 23 new homes at Hamilton Court off Wood Lane.

The vacant land was excluded from the previous development and reserved for the future development of a community centre.

The 23 new houses off Wood Lane are now complete but as part of the planning consent for that development, Edwards agreed to gift the vacant land to Hawarden Community Council for a “nominal sum” as part of a section 106 obligation.

Ewloe based Edwards said the land was reserved for the future development of a community centre following discussions between “planning officers and local representatives of Hawarden Community Council.”

The community council had previously raised concerns over the suitability of the site, with “particular regard to drainage and overhead cables.”

In documents submitted to Flintshire County Council, Edwards said it has made “repeated attempts” to transfer the land to Hawarden Community Council since November 2020, “but without success.”

Edwards said it has been left, “frustrated” by Hawarden Community Council’s apparent lack of interest and the “continuing delay in accepting the gift of land.”

The developer instructed its solicitors to write to the clerk of Hawarden Community Council in March 2021 stating it required the transfer to be completed within 14 days of the letter.

A consultation was launched following the submission of the application, four letters were received, three objecting to the development and one letter of support was received.

The plans were refused on the grounds the site is allocated for a new community development and “sufficient justification has not been advanced that would allow the Local Planning Authority to disregard this allocation.”

“As such the proposal conflicts with the development plan policies,” James Beattie, Senior Planner at Flintshire County Council said in a report.

Hawarden Community Council objected to the application “on the basis that the land is in the process of being transferred to Hawarden CC.”

“On this basis, there is a clear intention to proceed with the allocation and therefore the proposal would be in conflict with Flintshire Unitary Development Plan.” The report states.

The report goes on to say: “In the absence of a Coal Mining report it has not been demonstrated that appropriate measures can be taken to ensure the long term safety of the site with regards to land instability.”

The Coal Authority said it had a “fundamental concern” with the application stating the site falls within the defined “Development High Risk Area.”

“More specifically, the Coal Authority’s information indicates that the application site lies in an area where historic unrecorded coal mining activity is likely to have taken place at shallow depth.

“Voids and broken ground associated with such workings can pose a risk of ground instability and may give rise to the emission of mine gases.”

Mr Beattie said in his report: “The development of this land for residential purposes would be contrary to the development plan allocation and previous agreements, secured by a Section 106 agreement associated with the previous planning permission, for a community centre to serve both Wood Lane and St Davids Park area.”



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