A ROW over a 102-home affordable housing scheme outside the county development area, which an MP described as “indefensible” looks set to rumble on.

Approval for the 100 per cent affordable rented homes development, on pastoral land off Alexandra Road in Prestatyn, was granted last week by Denbighshire councillors.

The town’s council, local county councillors and more than 40 objectors begged for the scheme to be thrown out and now Vale of Clwyd MP James Davies has added his voice.

The amended application on land adjacent to Alexandra Drive in Prestatyn would satisfy some of the need for 500 people waiting for somewhere to permanent live, according to a social housing provider.

However Prestatyn town council’s chair of planning Cllr Linda Muraca was critical of the county council for allowing it to go through “regardless of the material planning considerations”.

She said: “We’re not happy with where they want to put these houses – out of the local development plan (LDP) area.

“Why have an LDP if you’re going to build there anyway?

“It’s 100 per cent rental but one of Denbighshire council’s policies is they realise mixed tenure is the best way forward.

“As a town council we recognise the need for such housing, but we have grave concerns about the chosen site.”

Their concerns include: It is not within the Local Development Plan; It is pasture land; There is potential for flood risk 

There will be over intensification of the site; There is a lack of infrastructure and access and traffic flow will be problematic.

They were all matters outlined in the application and Prestatyn county councillors, regardless of political affiliations, supported blocking the scheme but it was passed by nine votes to seven.

Cllr Muraca said Prestatyn was also becoming a “desirable place to live”.

She said: “Denbighshire council has yet to prove to us we do have this housing need from Prestatyn people.

“Prestatyn has got to be very careful it doesn’t lose its beauty and in would like to see building on brownfield sites.

“All these good legal arguments (against the development) have been put forward but they’ve not been adhered to.

“Denbighshire council needs to abide by its own policies.”

James Davies, MP for the Vale of Clwyd, has also questioned the decision and has written to Denbighshire council asking them to “revisit the decision”.

He said: “The county council’s handling of this matter has been indefensible.

“It acknowledged the planning application did not meet its own adopted planning policies, but this was deemed to be outweighed by other factors.

“Yet those other factors don’t appear to accord with the council’s adopted policies either.”

Cllr Mark Young, Denbighshire council’s lead member for planning, said he couldn’t speak for the council’s technical officers but vigorously defended his position to support the scheme.

He said both Welsh Labour and the Conservatives had pledged to build tens of thousands of affordable homes whilst campaigning for the Senedd elections and it was councils who had to fulfil those promises.

He said: “We have a housing crisis in Wales, with people unable to afford good quality housing.

“I don’t agree it means we should build anywhere but on the planning committee it had cross-party support – and it passes the democracy test.

“While I do know some people will be disappointed, if parties pledge that many homes it can’t be just words.”

He said having asked officers about the scheme being outside the LDP he was satisfied by the claim there were 500 people needing permanent affordable accommodation in the area.

“Sometimes you just have to do what’s he right,” he said. “Un the end affordable housing to buy and rent is needed.

“Nearly 60 per cent of people in that area can’t afford to buy a home – that’s a real statement – and the homelessness figure is growing.”

Gareth Davies, Vale of Clwyd MS and Denbighshire County Councillor for Prestatyn, said: "I'm completely baffled by the decision made from planning committee in regards to Alexandra Drive, Prestatyn as it contravenes the planning policies set out by the council.

"I have personally followed this case for a long period of time since the beginning as ward councillor for the area and now as a Member of the Senedd, and it seems there were formality issues on the day of the meeting which need to be cleared up.

"I have written to the relevant officers in Denbighshire County Council to request urgent clarification over the decision and to ask for a re think on the matter."

Denbighshire council has been approached for comment.