The Urbanists to develop Wrexham corridor regeneration plan

The Urbanists have been appointed by Wrexham County Borough Council and Welsh Government to carry out a feasibility study into the future placemaking and development opportunities along the Mold Road Corridor. 

Wrexham is a key regional driver for North East Wales and Mold Road is an important arterial route into the town. The significance of the route is derived from the presence of Wrexham’s Glyndwr University, The Racecourse stadium and Wrexham General railway station. 

The challenge will be to devise and coordinate interventions that will make a considerable beneficial impact upon Wrexham and the wider region. The vision will be supported by a masterplan which will be underpinned by deliverable interventions set into a short, medium and long term delivery plan.

The Urbanists are leading the project and are being supported by Colliers on property inputs and Mott Macdonald on transportation advice.

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Circuit of Wales Common Land application approved

The Urbanists are delighted to announce that the application for deregistration of Common Land to allow the Circuit of Wales project to be developed, has been approved by the Welsh Government, following the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate.  

The Urbanists Planning Director, Mark Farrar, acted as expert witness at the public inquiry, supported by Planning Associate Liam Hopkins, on behalf of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company.

circuit of wales

The Deputy Minister concluded that the significant public benefits that will result from the deregistration and exchange justifies the departure from the Welsh Government guidance on the approach to such applications.    

The Inspector found that the project would bring "extensive socio-economic benefits to the neighbourhood, Blaenau Gwent and beyond, which should be given very significant weight, as well as the overall benefits to the public interest in nature conservation” and “very significant public benefits exist which are sufficiently compelling to outweigh the identified harm“.  

The approval allows the required 244ha of common land to be deregistered and exchanged for 306ha of land which is now to become registered as new Common Land. 

This decision allows us to support The Heads of the Valleys Development Company to progress confidently into the detailed planning stages of the development.  We will shortly be submitting reserved matters planning applications for the first phase of the project including the site-wide engineering works, the motor racing circuit, pits and paddocks buildings and other accompanying buildings.  The decision is due to be placed on the Welsh Government website shortly. 

Circuit of Wales moves forward

We are pleased to report that the proposed Circuit of Wales has taken another positive step forward. 

The developer behind the scheme, the Heads of the Valleys Development Company (HOTVDC) has been informed by Rebecca Evans AM, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, that she is ‘minded to grant’ the Section 16 application that was submitted to deregister the development site from the common land register.

We provided planning advice to HOTVDC throughout the public inquiry that was held to determine the application. We look forward to continuing to assist the HOTVDC as it continues to progress this important regeneration project.  

Welsh Government’s decision is subject to HOTVDC completing previously agreed conditions regarding the commoners’ rights, which HOTVDC will now implement so that a formal decision may be issued.

Cardiff Capital Region Metro

The Consultants behind The Metro Study has welcomed its publication by Welsh Government and noted its description of the concept as “potentially the most important project in Wales for a generation”.

The Consultants are all members of The Metro Consortium, a group of stakeholders who came together in early 2013 with the common aim of promoting the Metro concept as a regional regeneration project.  The group was led by Mark Barry and included Capita, Jones Lang LaSalle, Powell Dobson Urbanists and Steer Davies Gleave.

James Brown, Director of Powell Dobson Urbanists, welcomed the focus upon regeneration; “What may appear on the surface to be a transportation project is actually a unique opportunity to change the status quo and improve the economic competitiveness of the region. The Metro presents an opportunity to reconnect the City Region in a way that it can become a more liveable city. The Metro can help to improve quality of life, reduce inequality and enhance economic competitiveness.”

Alan Davies, Director of Capita, stated that there was an opportunity to take a long term view; “we must be prepared to consider new ways of developing and delivering transport infrastructure across the region”.

Chris Sutton, Director of Jones Lang LaSalle, commented; “the Metro can become a driver for economic development through the creation of a fit for purpose, premier league, transport system”

You can see the full Wales Online article here and dowload a copy of the Executive Summary from the Welsh Government website here.