Wales

Road safety fears over Wrexham poultry plant expansion plan

Chickens Image copyright PA
Image caption The expansion plan will create at least 80 jobs, the company said

A poultry plant's bid to more than double its output to process a million chickens a week could lead to more road accidents, a public hearing is told.

Maelor Foods launched an appeal after its proposal was twice rejected by Wrexham councillors.

Farmer Stuart Richards questioned the safety of local roads, while others complained of the smell and noise.

The firm said its plan would create at least 80 jobs and promised to pay for road improvements.

Planning inspector Hywel Wyn Jones said the main issues to be considered were the impact on road safety and the living conditions of residents, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Figures from the company showed the expansion would increase the number of lorries visiting the site from four to up to 12 per hour.

People living nearby claim it will lead to a rise in crashes at the junction of the A525 and Pickhill Lane, potentially putting lives at risk.

Image copyright Maelor Foods
Image caption Maelor Foods managing director Raj Mehta opened the factory in 2017 with Welsh ministers Lesley Griffiths and Ken Skates

Mr Richards, who lives near the poultry plant in Cross Lanes, said: "Over the years we've had loads of people crashing, some wagons and some cars.

"The risk would be on anyone's head who's agreed that the junction is acceptable for big wagons to go over the middle line on a very fast stretch of road."

Geoff Dutton, who lives opposite the plant, said he was unhappy with night-time noise.

"The vehicle movements at two, three and four in the morning continually wake us up every weekday," he said.

Speaking for Maelor Foods, planning lawyer Stuart Andrews said: "The need for 24/7 operation is a product of the use of the site.

"The issues as to highway safety and the function of the surrounding roads haven't given rise to any issues."

Mr Wyn Jones said he would make his decision on the appeal known at a future date.

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