Urgent Crowdfunding Help needed to halt damage to Historic Rossett Village from major housing development.

We’re raising £30,000 to enable Rossett to fund a High Court challenge to the Wrexham Council for allowing an unsound layout, flood and road safety risks to 132 new houses.
Please donate to my JustGiving Crowdfunding Page and help make it happen:

See our story below and feel free to browse our website and read about our struggle.

North and South Fields

Rossett Village needs fighting funds for a key High Court challenge to Wrexham Council for allowing an unsound layout, road safety dangers and flood risks to 132 new houses.

Our homes are at risk because the Council are railroading this development through via the developer and their planning officer – no matter what. The Planning Committee is being treated with contempt as are we!

Essential fields in the green barrier which are crucial to prevent flooding for the surrounding houses have been authorised to be built on after a controversial Planning Committee Meeting on 7th February 2022. This crowd funding is to fight for the flood safety of the community,protect access to and from the local schools. Moreover, our doctors will be further overloadedand other infrastructure will suffer from this development. The money raised will allow us to progress a Judicial Review. The deadline is the 25th March 2022.

There has been an unfair, biased hearing in which all arguments have not been heard and considered properly by the Planning Committee Councillors who were told they could not vote against the plans. The biased Planning Case Officer’s report has not properly taken into consideration any written objections. He has just reported what the developers say. Thus, proving that written objections carry little or no weight at WCBC Reserved Matters Planning Meetings.

This planning application was originally and justifiably rejected upon a vote by members of the Planning Committee in January 2019. This decision was overturned on Appeal by the Inspector and Welsh Minister in part due to a Statement of Common Ground submitted by the WCBC Officers and Developers that there was no dispute on the grounds of the Council Refusal.

Further, the inspector made his assessment of the Footway alterations to Holt Road in particular which have since been subject to comment by the Equality Commission that WCBC will potentially be in breach of their Duty of Care to persons with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 if constructed. Even the Developers Road Safety Audit suggests 4 grounds that pedestrian and vehicle collisions will actually increase.

The recent 2021 Storm Christoph flooding in and around Rossett & Lavister is evidence of drainage issues which was one of the reasons (alongside highway safety issues) that the community were strongly objecting to the development. Granting Reserved Matters Planningpermission for this development has gone against the fundamental UDP general development principles; 

“i) Ensure that development does not result in, or is subject to, flooding, soil erosion, landslides or contamination, either on or off the site…) Secure the development of sustainable communities, through the promotion of the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area.”

The development site has no pedestrian access links under the control of the developer as all the land on the western boundary outside the development site is owned by the Council or a 3rd Party so that the Planning Committee cannot sanction access over land not under the developers control; the questions this raises over implementation must be challenged. In addition the Plans approved by the Planning Committee do not match the Outline Planning Consent Approvals nor do they accord with layout, scale and ecology provisions. 

Flood ponds are to be created on both sites which will be a danger to recreational users of the open spaces and the site levels are to be increased to direct surface and flood waters off the site into surrounding areas and to cap it all, over height houses are to be built all in the countryside on the raised site ground levels, contrary to the maximum ridge heights stipulatedon the original application that went to appeal.

However, the WCBC Planning Authority and the Developer have taken advantage of the situation to rush the process, cut corners and make a decision without the required precautionary approach that is expected on such a controversial matter. Due to the way in which those concerned members of the Planning Committee were advised that they could not vote against it so they were told they must abstain. Accordingly, due to this illegal advicethe development was approved with 7 votes to approve and 8 abstentions. 

This decision is in our view totally wrong and flawed and the WCBC must be held to account in the High Court to rectify and overturn a decision that is completely wrong on many counts and will, if not challenged, affect every resident in the village of Rossett, the surrounding areas and ultimately throughout Wrexham.

Thank you all in advance for your support

Rossett Village Meeting – 17 Feb 2022

County Councillor Hugh Jones introduced the gathering about what has been going on and how John and Joan Filce had shouldered the financial burden so far and had been assisted by a number of others in Rossett, some of whom were present at the meeting.

John explained quite a few of the technical details of the development based on the Slides that Follow.

Joan outlined the present situation on some of the issues around land ownership and legal access on to adjacent estates north & south of Rossett Road.  Discussion ensued on what can be done legally to stop what is planned by the developer.

The route to the High Court has to be followed to stop the decision made to approve reserved matters on the 7th February 2022 by the Planning Committee when this was clearly a minority decision with 8 members being forced to abstain because they had not put up a counter proposal with grounds for refusal. We see this time and time again in Wrexham that when the Members want to go against the Officers recommendations the Officers do not assist the Members in formulating a counter proposal.

If you have not watched the Webcast of the meeting then we suggest that you do by following the link.

Joan explained the clock is now ticking if this route is to be followed. It was revealed in discussions that there are now 10 insurers that will not cover this area of Rossett.

If the village are serious about challenging the development, then the village must now be prepared to stand up and fund the next stage through the doors of the High Court and at least £30k will be needed initially possibly from crowd funding. If we win and our opponents are ordered to pay our costs the money will be refunded.

Joan and John will not fund these sort of court costs without substantial Village support. The further we go the higher the sum that will need to be crowd funded. Joan explained that the procedure to be followed is that a pre-action protocol letter ( i.e., a letter before action to Wrexham County Borough Council setting out our grounds and allowing a 14-day response period has to be submitted and they have already submitted a synopsis of the evidence to the Barrister and Planning Consultant to enable this to be drawn up.

It is hoped that this will be sent to the Council in this forth coming week. Once the Council’s response is received and we have considered their reply  the decision  has to be made as to whether to go through the doors of the High Court.

Joan indicated that the Judicial review is in two stages (1) An application on paper (no hearing) is considered by a judge who either grants or refuses permission to proceed (2) if permission is granted there will be a hearing (normally no more than a day) at which both sides are heard (legal representatives only, (no witnesses called) and the issue is decided.

The meeting of about 150 people voted unanimously to support and to contribute to crowd funding when asked.

As the decision Notice was notified to the Applicant and placed on the Planning Portal on the 11th February 2022 the application to the High Court has to be lodged with the Court before the 25th March 2022, and from that moment we are at risk of costs as costs follow the event.

We will be setting up a fighting fund following the meeting and we ask that you contribute what you can to the same so that we can oppose this appalling perverse decision.

Commentary on PowerPoint below:

Slide 1 – Just a view of what Castle Green are proposing North & South of Lane Farm. 61 houses on the top site 71 house on the bottom site.
Slide 2 – Example of the Estate shown during Planning Committee 7th Feb.
with examples of parking on the estate of 24 houses. Examples of parking on the site and difficulties that might be faced by wheelchair users.
Slide 3 & Slide 4 below – Llay Fern Meadow Parking on streets/footways and drives too short to stop overhang on footways
Slide 4
Slide 5 – Example of Flood basin at Holt.
Rossett Phase 1 two smaller flood basins and Phase 2 one very large basin all of which will take up any POS (Public Open Space) on site.
Slide 6 – Road Contours and the anticipated flood exceedance route to the lower areas of Trevalyn Hall View, Darland View, Darland and Lavister possibly undoing the planned drainage upgrades in Darland and Gamford Lanes. We estimate that under Storm Christoph the Phase 2 basin will fill in 24 hours, 2000 event fill in 4.25 hours and under 1976 conditions 3.0 hours
Slide 7 – Examples of Rossett flooding over 20 years. Map centre details from Developer source and NRW
Slide 8 – Limit of NRW Modelling – extracted from NRW Mapping. (Self explanatory)
Slide 9 – Flood Photographs to inform NRW (Self-explanatory)
Slide 10 – The white parts are those that show NRW Flood Mapping flawed especially along Alyn Drive & Harwoods Lane
Slide 11 – (Self-explanatory) but Zone 2 Flooding layers not on map
Slide 12 – Reservoir flooding not factored into risk – Reference to 2000 when Nant-y-Ffrith Reservoir was apparently opened by Severn Trent Water flooding from Mold to Rossett causing damage on the way
Slide 13 – NRW do not update river height data regularly so their guidance on flood risks is questioned. Data shown as at 17th Feb 2000 does not acknowledge Storm Christoph impact and that at the 2.337 level (15.337mAOD) at Alyn Bridge the flood water crossed Harwoods Lane at 13.72m, NRW only acknowledge 13.60m at a point somewhere near the cut off in Slide 8
Slide 14 (Self-explanatory)
Slide 15 & Slide 16 below – Layers missing from the latest mapping. Key to Rossett as these used to show area in Zone 2 flood risk
Slide 16
Slide 17 – (Self-explanatory) This Photo is what the 2002 Flood inquiry accepted and now shows in NRW 2020 Rossett Flood Risk study
Slide 18 – This photo shows river wall at normal times in same location. NRW figures are the highest they can get with climate change modelling bearing in mind that at adjacent Gun Street in 2000 top water level (TWL) was 15.79m and in 1976 it was 15.89m. NRW modelling is just not good enough to properly inform a site 0.7km distant!
Slides 19 and Slides 20 & 21 below show the narrow road and unsatisfactory areas that might be altered to provide a footway that does not meet the necessary mandatory standards.
Slide 20
Slide 21
Slide 22 – (Self-explanatory) Equality Commission are not happy with footway build out proposals having seen these photos. The developers have provided a Road Safety audit that suggest 4 main reasons that vehicle and pedestrian collisions will increase. The argument continues

A pdf file with higher resolution slides is available on request, see details via the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page or via our Rossett Focus Group Facebook page.

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