AN APPEAL over the refusal of plans to build houses on a former Polish hospital site has been thrown out.

Llannerch Panna in Penley was one of three field hospitals set up in the old Maelor district in 1946 after World War Two.

It came after Winston Churchill pledged to provide free care for Polish war veterans settling in the UK.

Most of the buildings at the site off Tudor Drive have since been demolished and an application was submitted towards the end of 2020 to build 17 houses on it.

The proposals were refused by Wrexham Council officials because of the land being located outside the village’s settlement boundary, the loss of an area of woodland and the impact on wildlife.

Landowner James Sadowski appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in June last year a bid to have the decision overturned.

Whitchurch Herald: How the former Llannerch Panna Polish Hospital site in Penley looks now. Source: Planning documentHow the former Llannerch Panna Polish Hospital site in Penley looks now. Source: Planning document

However, the inspector appointed to oversee the case has now upheld the local authority’s verdict due to the impact it would have on the appearance of the area.

In a report, Richard Jenkins said: “Despite incorporating some areas of hardstanding and some structures associated with its former use, the site generally appears to form part of the rural landscape beyond the built-up area of Penley.

“This assessment is consistent with the fact that it forms part of a woodland subject of a tree preservation order and reflects the fact that the evidence of the former use is not clearly apparent from outside of the appeal site.

“The vegetation and tree clearance that would be necessary to facilitate the development, coupled with the erection of some 17 dwellings, would without doubt injuriously alter the existing rural characteristics of the appeal site.

“As such, despite being largely screened from the north and west, I consider that the proposed development would represent an unacceptable incursion into the protected woodland and wider rural landscape.”

Consultants acting on behalf of Mr Sadowski said permission for the plans should be granted due to a claimed shortage of houses in the area.

They also said the site had a limited ecological value and would be a “logical extension” to the village.

But Mr Jenkins highlighted that Wrexham’s local development plan was close to being adopted and would address the housing shortfall.

After considering all the issues raised, he therefore decided to dismiss the appeal