A Toyota dealership has been handed a surprise reprieve after its expansion plans were approved despite twice being recommended for rejection.
Lindop Bros, in Wrexham, had been facing dozens of job losses and potential closure as it expected its proposals to be turned down by councillors.
The dealership submitted plans last August to expand the car park to cater for an increase in electric car sales as well as putting in charging points.
As part of the proposals, five new jobs were to be created but chief planning officer Lawrence Isted twice recommended Wrexham Council refuse the bid.
He had concerns about the impact the expansion would have on green barrier land, which he said had not been addressed.
The garage’s owner, Steve Hopewell, was therefore left expecting the worst and warned the site would not be able to survive as a result.
However, in a planning meeting earlier this week, Wrexham Council decided to ignore official advice and give the green light to the development.
The plans were approved by eleven votes to four with councillors deciding it was important to ‘back local businesses’, reports the Leader.
Speaking at the planning committee meeting, Penycae councillor John Phillips said: ‘I pass this site most days of the week and it’s evident that space is at a premium.
‘We want businesses to come to Wrexham and we want existing established businesses to flourish.
‘We’re often told to take each application on its own merits, and I fear if we support the officer’s recommendation here this afternoon it will be a nail in the coffin for the business.
‘The potential loss of 30 plus jobs are exceptional circumstances and I for one won’t be supporting the officer’s recommendation.’
The committee agreed with Phillips and decided to approve the plans, despite fears raised by independent councillor, David Griffiths.
The politician, who lives close to the site, said residents had suffered parking problems as a result of the business.
He also accused the application of using ‘possible intimidation’ but was overruled by colleagues.