AN APPEAL has been launched after plans for a new production facility at a wood panel factory were deferred.

Wrexham Council’s planning committee placed proposals to create a new orientated strand board production facility at Kronospan in Chirk on hold following a meeting in March.

It came after concerns were raised about the impact on road safety with hundreds of lorries expected to use the village’s roads every day if the scheme moves ahead.

Councillors had asked the company to enter talks with the local authority to consider creating a new access road to alleviate the problem.

However, Kronospan has now launched an appeal to try and get the plans pushed through.

In documents submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, the firm said the new facility would result in the creation of 100 new jobs.

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It said: “The appeal proposal comprises an investment in equipment and employee skills.

“Such investments are required to balance the decline in productivity experienced in Wales over the past two decades and enable manufacturing in Wales to remain competitive in the wider UK, Europe and worldwide markets.

“The planning committed deferred the decision on the application to allow the applicant time to consider alternative mean of access to the site.

“However, there were no technical highways reasons from an operational or safety perspective to refuse the application, as confirmed by the Wrexham Council highways department and the Welsh Government.

“In examining the appeal proposal, it is the appellant’s case that the appeal proposal would help contributes towards the delivery of sustainable development and improves the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales.”

The proposals form part of Kronospan’s plans to invest £200 million in the site over the next three years.

During March’s meeting, the company’s chairman described it as ‘the final significant piece of the jigsaw’, adding that it would seek to bring more material in by rail.

However, community representatives said they felt it was only a matter of time before there was a major accident in Chirk, with vehicles often left queuing on the B5070 to access Kronospan.

The committee voted unanimously in favour of deferring the scheme.

The appeal will now be heard by a planning inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a future date.