Posted: Fri 5th Apr 2024

Mold: Large housing development backed for approval despite school route fears

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Plans to build 90 homes in a village near Mold have been backed to go ahead despite concerns over the safety of children walking to school.

The application by Stewart Milne Homes Ltd to develop a greenfield site in New Brighton is due to be considered by councillors next week.

Concerns have been raised over the proposals by local councillor Mared Eastwood, along with 47 residents and members of Argoed Community Council.

It follows claims that there would be no safe route for youngsters walking from the new estate on land south of New Brighton Road to nearby Ysgol Sychdyn.

Other issues highlighted include problems with flooding at the site and a lack of infrastructure to serve people living in the houses.

The scheme was originally meant to be decided by Flintshire Council’s planning committee in November last year, but it was deferred to address the road safety fears.

While officials have acknowledged that the walking route to Ysgol Sychdyn would be hazardous for children, the local authority’s chief planning officer has recommended the application for approval.

 

In a report, Andrew Farrow said there were other schools nearby which youngsters from the estate could get to safely.

He said: “Concern has been raised by third parties with relation to the issue of a safe route to school and in particular given the close proximity of the crossroad junction, as well as existing traffic on the road networks.

“The New Brighton Road to Sychdyn, which the access to the development opens onto, has previously been considered hazardous by a Streetscene assessment of potential safe routes to school.

“It should be noted that Ysgol Mynydd Isa, soon to be replaced by the combined 3-16 school in Bryn Y Baal, can be considered to be more conveniently located to the site than Sychdyn as there is a continuous footway to each of these schools.

“The new school, and this footway is alongside a 20mph road with street lighting.

“A pedestrian crossing is proposed at the New Brighton Road junction with the A5119 as part of the development proposals, which will further improve the route to Mynydd Isa.”

Information provided by the education authority shows that there currently only three pupils who attend Ysgol Sychdyn living in New Brighton.
This is in comparison to 48 children who go to either Mynydd Isa or Bryn Y Baal.

Mr Farrow said the council would be legally obliged to consider whether transport is required to take children from the estate who attend Ysgol Sychdyn to school.

He said the developers had considered several options to provide a safe route to Sychdyn, but none were viable due to road widths and third-party land ownership issues.

He added: “The key point to bear in mind when considering this matter is that whilst it is the case that the walking route to Ysgol Sychdyn is hazardous, a safe route exists to an alternative school that is an equal distance away from the site.

“Currently the vast majority of local children attend it in preference to Ysgol Sychdyn.

“As such, and notwithstanding the objections received on this point, it is not considered that this is an issue that should be given a great deal of weight in the planning balance.”

The site has been subject to refused planning applications in the past, with a similar proposal dismissed on appeal in 2021.

The committee has been recommended to approve the latest plans subject to the developer entering into a section 106 legal agreement to provide 36 affordable homes.

The company would also be required to pay £36,000 to improve facilities at Ysgol Sychdyn.

The scheme will be considered by committee members when they meet on Wednesday (April 10, 2024).

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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