A COMMERCIAL and industrial site could be redeveloped for housing.
The application has been made by Meadow Vale Foods at its premises on Wrexham Road in Malpas.
The frozen food production and distribution company has its main offices and depot on the site, Chester's planning board is due to hear.
A building fronting Wrexham Road is used as offices with cold storage at the rear and there is a two storey office building in the centre of the site.
It is close to neighbouring residential properties with Malpas and District Sports Club at the rear and adjoins the Malpas Conservation Area.
The company, which is to relocate, says it is proposing to demolish the office and cold store building and erect four new houses.
The remaining office building would be converted to residential.
Two of the homes would have five bedrooms, two would have four bedrooms and the conversion would create a five bedroom property.
All would be open market.
Malpas Parish Council does not object but questions if an alternative employment use has been explored.
Councillors say they are concerned about highway access and increased traffic on Wrexham Road.
They also feel a broader selection of properties would be more in keeping with the village and consistent with local need.
Conservation officers feel the design and layout is “well considered” but have reservations about the estate type layout which is proposed.
The company argues business use of the site is not environmentally acceptable and points out that large commercial vehicles visit throughout the day adding to traffic problems in the village.
Due to further expansion, they are proposing to relocate.
Highway officers say they would prefer the site to be developed for residential purposes.
Although guidelines suggest that affordable homes should be provided on a “one to one” basis, planning officers believe the site represents “a unique case” as the inappropriate use would be removed from the residential area.
Given the small size of the development, they suggest a financial payment of £50,000 should be secured through a legal agreement in place of any affordable housing being provided.
Recommending the application should be approved, planning officers believe the reduction in the number of heavy goods vehicles will provide environmental benefits.
The development will not have an adverse effect on the adjoining conservation area or on the amenities of neighbours, they feel.
The application is to be considered by the planning board at a meeting on Wednesday (January 7) at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Chester at 10.30am.