Kronospan factory expansion plans in Chirk are backed on appeal

Kronospan factory
Image caption Kronospan employs more than 600 people at its Chirk plant

Expansion plans for a wood panel factory on the outskirts of Wrexham have been given the go-ahead following a successful appeal.

Kronospan in Chirk applied for the development last summer, claiming it would create 100 new jobs.

Wrexham councillors put the plans on hold in March amid concerns about the impact on road safety, seeking talks.

However, the firm launched and won an appeal to the Welsh Government saying there were no reasons to hold it up.

The proposals form part of Kronospan's plans to invest £200m over three years at the site, where more than 600 people work, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

At the planning meeting in March, the company's chairman described it as "the final significant piece of the jigsaw" for the plant.

Councillors had raised concerns that hundreds of extra lorries would be driving through Chirk each day, and called for a new access point to the factory.

But planning inspector Aidan McCooey has now said the scheme should go ahead.

In his report, he said Kronospan was "committed to increasing the use of rail freight to transport raw materials to the site, which is served by its own rail sidings".

"Having reviewed the evidence I agree that the proposed access arrangements would be adequate, and the additional traffic generated by the proposal would not have significant effects on highway safety," Mr McCooey added.

An additional weighbridge would allay concerns about the prospect of lorries queuing on the B5070 Holyhead Road, the report continued.

Mr McCooey recognised the positive aspects of the development, saying: "The benefits of the proposal include maintaining the viability of the company and 100 new jobs as a direct result of this new process."

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