Flintshire Councillors Defer Plans for 90 Homes in New Brighton Over Concerns for Unsafe School Route
PLANS for 90 homes in New Brighton have been deferred by Flintshire councillors due to concerns over an unsafe route to school.
The Planning Committee discussed proposals by Stewart Milne Homes Ltd to develop land to the south of New Brighton Road in New Brighton, near Mold at its meeting on Wednesday, November 22.
The plans include 36 affordable homes and a £36,000 contribution towards Ysgol Sychdyn.
The site has been subject to refused planning applications in the past, with a similar application dismissed on appeal in 2021.
The committee was recommended to approve the application, however, councillors discussed an issue regarding an unsafe route to Ysgol Sychdyn from the site.
A report on the application said options to alleviate issues had been explored. These include:
Providing a footway alongside New Brighton Road over the 700m distance from the western edge of the development site to the nearest existing footway in Sychdyn.
Providing improved linkage to the existing public footpath route which passes from New Brighton Road to Wat’s Dyke Way in Sychdyn.
Providing the funding for a school bus to link the development site to Sychdyn School.
However, the report said: “In assessing the proposal it has been shown that none of the above options are feasible or implementable.”
During the meeting, councillors heard how “significant” discussion had been held on the issue, and the route has been considered a “hazardous” route by Streetscene.
Other local schools are considered to be a similar distance from the site and are served by well lit routes, but the report acknowledges “parental choice exists” and there is a possibility that children living on the site might enrol at Ysgol Sychdyn.
In the plans, a pedestrian crossing is proposed at the New Brighton Road junction with the A5119, which will further improve the route to Mynydd Isa, and the report added that “where the route to school is considered to be hazardous by the LA in consultation with the Environment Directorate then that child, if of compulsory school age, will be eligible for free school transport” and the cost would be picked up by the local authority.
Councillors heard from a representative of the local community who emphasised that New Brighton roads were designated an “unsafe route to school” by Flintshire Council and called for the refusal of the plans. They also heard from a representative of the developers urging the council to grant planning permission.
Debate was opened by Cllr Marion Bateman for Northop (Ind) who called for the refusal and was followed by Cllr Mared Eastwood (Lib Dem) for Argoed and New Brighton, who also spoke on behalf of Cllr Hilary McGuill (lib Dem) as they represent the same ward.
Cllr Eastwood highlighted issues with flooding, saying that nearly all homes have been flooded with both raw sewerage and surface water. Again, concerns on safe routes to school, and pedestrian crossing in the area were raised. The issue of Ysgol Sychdyn was again raised, and how the council needing to foot the bill to transport children was “not acceptable”.
Cllr Chris Bithell (Labour) for Mold East said the issues were “well-rehearsed and well debated” and “dealt with” in the report however did have concerns about the safety of school routes and said he was “not happy” about it. He said he could mostly go along with the plans, but felt the issue was “unresolved” so Cllr Bithell suggested the plans be deferred for further consultation, as there is a possibility it could be resolved.
Cllr Richard Jones (Ind) for Buckley: Bistre East, however, argued that they’ve already been told there is “no solution” for the road so backed refusal.
Other councillors did back the deferral during the debate. But Cllr Ted Palmer (Labour) for Holywell highlighted the references to the adopted LDP which makes it suitable for development, which he agrees with, however, it is up to the council to determine if that type of development is suitable.
He added: “I would not want to be responsible for the death of a child so I would support a refusal.”
Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind) for Connah’s Quay and Cllr Carol Ellis (Non-Aligned) for Buckley: Mountain both questioned if the scheme would come back for safer school routes if the deferral goes through, and were told officers did not know, but they could commit to further discussions with developers.
Cllr Bithell was happy to extend the reasons for deferral not just for the safe routes to school, but to also provide clarity around the management of the play areas, the areas of ecology and the affordable housing as highlighted by Holwell West Cllr Paul Johnson (Labour) during the meeting.
During the vote, councillors agreed to have the plans deferred.
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