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Monday, September 24, 2012

Welsh Government gives reasons why Llan plans were not called-in

llanblogger exclusive

* The Dobson & Crowther site.

A Welsh Government official has outlined the reasons why last Wednesday's decisions by Denbighshire County Council to approve applications for a new Sainsbury's supermarket and a print factory in Llangollen were not "called-in" for further examination.

Despite local opposition, the planning commitee resoundingly backed plans for the new foodstore on land currently occupied by the Dobson & Crowther factory in Berwyn Street.

Members also gave the go-ahead to a separate application to build a new factory for Dobson & Crowther - the town's largest employer - at nearby Cilmedw Farm.

Applicants, J Ross Developments, claim the new Sainsbury's will create over 100 full-time equivalent jobs and the replacement factory will help preserve around 100 Dobson & Crowther jobs by giving the company room to expand and develop.

The Welsh Government, which has the power to halt planning approvals where it considers wider issues which may be involved and order a public inquiry where it thinks necessary, decided almost immediately after the meeting not to call-in the two schemes.

But local campaign group Keep Llangollen Special (KLS), which opposed the plans, was unhappy with that decision and asked the government office concerned to give the reasons behind it.

On Saturday, KLS received a nine-page letter from John Saunders, of the decisions branch of the government's planning division, which provides a detailed explanation.

It deals first with the printworks application and the reaction to it by transport experts, saying: "As far as impact on the Trunk Road (A5) is concerned I do not consider that there are any major issues to support call-in."

It then quotes the reaction of historic buildings body Cadw - an arm of the Welsh Government - which says the application "does not raise any significant issues related to listed buildings, historic landscape or the World Heritage Site."

From the perspective of the Forestry Commission, the letter says the scheme "does not affect any woodland grant scheme or semi-natural woodland," adding there is "no comment to make other than it is only of local interest."

Giving the view of the Countryside Commission, it says that the "issues are not more than of local importance."

Substantially the same replies were given by each organisation to the related foodstore application.

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