National Trust hits out at factory blot on the landscape

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

National Trust bosses are “increasingly concerned” about Kronospan’s expansion plans proving a blot on the landscape.

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

It is feared the expansion 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 year Wrexham Council’s 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.Last week, the Advertizer reported plans to install a new wood chip preparation facility Kronospan had been revealed.

A planning application, received by Wrexham Council, requests permission for the replacement of a wood chip preparation facility at Kronospan Ltd on Holyhead Road.

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.

In a statement from the company they say: “We are surprised at this statement. As far as we are concerned the planning inspector will have considered all the representations made in respect of the application for the melamine faced building before making the decision on our appeal.

 

“There is no direct impact on the park and garden of Chirk Castle other than the closed loop extraction system on top of the building, and the view of this is restricted by the local topography and existing vegetation.

 

“In the context of the existing industrial development, the development was not considered to significantly increase the impact on the historic environment.

 

“We have developed a landscape strategy which is currently with Wrexham Council for acceptance. National Trust representatives were involved in this programme, which is intended to build on the successful planting programme that previously took place to screen the factory from view.”

See full story in the Advertizer

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