A CLWYD West AM is calling for an intervention after councillors approved controversial plans for a derelict Denbigh estate.
Pool Park, near Ruthin, a grade II* listed building which has been closed for 21 years, was granted permission last week by Denbighshire Council’s planning committee to develop the site into a care village complex including 29 new apartments and 33 houses.
But Clwyd West AM Darren Millar is concerned that Denbighshire County Council have departed from national planning policy, and has written to minister for housing and regeneration Carl Sargeant asking him to intervene.
Mr Millar said: “The scale of enabling development should be commensurate with the public benefit to be delivered as a result of development proceeding.
“I therefore feel it is necessary for the Welsh Government to call in this application for review by the Planning Inspectorate.”
Mr Millar also said his constituents are worried it would result in overdevelopment, the loss of the Grade II Historic Park and Garden and would be detrimental to the local landscape.
“If there had been sufficient engagement with the local community regarding the proposals, officers would have been aware of theses concerns, but there wasn’t,” he added.
“It is not right for the views of local people to be disregarded in this way.”
Pool Park, which is on the ‘at risk’ register, dates back to 1862 and the main house will be converted into a 38 bedroom nursing home.
Rob Atkinson, who spoke against the plans at last week’s planning meeting, said: “The building has been allowed to fall into disrepair for more than 20 years with no steps to ensure it has been kept in good order.”
Mr Atkinson also raised issues regarding the increase of traffic.
A former boilerhouse and chapel would be demolished but outbuildings such as a vegetable store, gardeners’ bothy and a stable block will be converted into dwellings.
Matt Gilbert, representing Robert Homes Ltd, said: “If we do not find a viable use for these buildings then the whole lot will go into ruin. It is already going that way.
“It is time that a new lease is found, the cost to repair is getting higher and higher.
“There has been a suggestion there is another means of funding but there is not. It has to be a commercially based project or it will not happen.
“This is not just a care home this is a care village and any other use of this place in the future will also generate traffic. What would cause less traffic than this?”
Planning officers recommended to grant the plans and told the planning committee that the cost of repairing the building will cost more than it will be worth once it’s done and the only viable option is a commercial development.