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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 February, 2005, 13:42 GMT
New 'village' for steelworks site
The former Brymbo steelworks
The steelworks closed in 1990
A new village could be created in Wrexham if plans to build 500 new homes on the site of a former steelworks are approved.

A new primary school and enterprise centre will also be built on land at the former Brymbo steelworks.

The plant, which once employed up to 6,000 people, closed 15 years ago.

Residents have given the scheme a cautious welcome but they want better access to the village and new jobs.

It's 15 years since the steelworks closed so the development is to be welcomed
Neil Rogers, council leader

George Wimpey North West, Bloor Homes and Brymbo Developments Ltd want to build 532 homes on the site.

Wrexham council leader Neil Rogers said: "If you're building a village of 530 homes it's going to be as big as Southsea or Tanyfron.

"It's 15 years since the steelworks closed so the development is to be welcomed," he added.

It would include a mix of one-bedroom apartments and five-bedroom detached houses, with a new primary school and an enterprise centre for training.

But Wrexham AM John Marek was cautious. "I wonder whether 500 is too much for the extra services," he said.

Residents say new houses will not be enough

In December 2000, the Welsh Assembly Government announced a 8.5m grant aid agreement to reclaim the site, and work began in 2003.

More than 1,000 workers were made redundant when the plant closed in 1990.

Since then villagers say the area has fallen into decline and many young people have been forced to leave the area to find work elsewhere.

Local resident Brian Stapley said the village needed more than new housing.

"The community needs support, we need a supermarket, we have one general shop, one chemist and one post office," said Mr Stapley, 58, a community councillor.

Brymbo Development Limited(BDL) has previously said it planned to build houses, recreation areas and business premises, creating between 750 and 1,000 jobs.

Mr Stapley wanted reassurance that those jobs would still come.

"We need those 1,000 new jobs we were promised, we need the spine road... we need that infrastructure. If we're short changed I won't be happy," he added.

But Wrexham Council said the scheme for the former steelworks site had always included a mix of residential, retail and business development and outline permission already existed.

This planning application for the houses seeks approval for reserved matters including the detailed layout and design of the houses.

Residents wanting to make their comments known to the council have until 18 March.


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