Economic benefits secure factory upgrade

Heritage and environmental impacts have been cleared as acceptable in a decision to allow modernisation of a manufacturing plant in Wrexham.

The site comprised an established wooden composite boarding manufacturing plant. The appellants proposed substantial new and extended buildings and plant within the complex that would be similar in height and scale to adjoining buildings and would be seen in the context of an expansive factory roofscape including several tall structures, the highest being 70 metres.

A main issue concerned the scheme’s effect on nearby heritage assets, including a grade I listed castle and a world heritage site aqueduct and canal. A heritage assessment indicated that the appeal proposal and other projects proposed would result in little appreciable change to the business’s existing zone of influence and there had been no objections from statutory consultees. The inspector agreed that the proposal’s heritage impact would not be significant.

On other issues, he found no adverse effect on noise, traffic or air quality, subject to an emissions monitoring condition. In allowing the appeal, he took into account the economic benefits of support for an important local employer, an additional 100 jobs and the sustainability benefits of a locally produced environmentally friendly construction material obviating the need for foreign imports. The scheme complied with the sustainable development principles in the Well Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, he held.

Inspector: Aidan McCooey; Written representations

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