Wood plant expansion in Chirk means noise and pollution, says National Trust

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

National Trust bosses are “increasingly concerned” over expansion plans at Kronospan proving a blight on the landscape.

The Trust runs nearby Chirk Castle and senior figures say the organisation is growing worried about issues regarding air quality, noise and pollution in the area affecting residents and the environment.

It is feared the expansion at the wood-based manufacturing plant impacts the views of Chirk Castle as well as the World Heritage Site at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the Clwydian Range and the Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Shane Logan, general manager for National Trust Chirk Castle, said: “We recognise the need for job creation and investment within our communities, but this must not be achieved at the expense of people’s health or the degradation of the associated landscape.

“Kronospan needs to seriously consider what environmental and corporate responsibility looks like for everyone.”

Last week, the Leader reported on a planning application, received by Wrexham Council, to install a new wood chip preparation facility at the site on Holyhead Road.

The proposal includes a building to house new wood chip preparation equipment, development of a new wood chip dryer and associated sifting, grading and transfer system and the demolition of existing structures.

Kronospan bosses say the new development is necessary to improve the operational efficiency of the site so the firm can compete effectively with rival wood-based panel manufacturing companies across Europe.

Last year Wrexham Council planning committee refused permission for an application to install a new melamine facing press at the Kronospan factory.

Despite refusal, the firm pushed on with plans to build the multi-million pound extension, with community leaders claiming Kronospan had shown no respect for the planning process.

Earlier this year the Planning Inspectorate for Wales upheld the firm’s appeal against the decision, effectively granting permission in retrospect.

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