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Buckley blueprint planned to shape town developments

A MASTER plan to set out the future development of Buckley is due to be completed by January.

A packed summit meeting held in the hall of Buckley Town Council saw 80 residents, councillors and politicians debate the way forward for the town.

Community groups Buckley Boxing Club, Buckley Theatre Club and Buckley Royal British Legion were also present, as all are seeking new and/or improved bases for their activities.

Those attending last Friday included Labour AM Carl Sargeant, who chaired the meeting and Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami.

The meeting heard the Buckley Town Partnership was now well-placed to hear views from the public so a masterplan could be formulated by January.

Mr Sargeant said a survey had been carried out to identify what the key priorities were.

He said: “The three main things were shopping, for a new supermarket, a health centre and leisure, such as the Buckley Baths.”

Anger was expressed over new housing developments despite a lack of infrastructure in the town to support new residents.

Resident Ella Towell said: “I have been doing a straw poll and the common theme is the councillors are trying to turn our town into a garden village with hanging baskets. Pretty and practicality are two different things.”

Buckley councillor Carol Ellis said: “I am fighting every month against housing plans, because there are no shops, provision for health or schools.”

Cllr Dennis Hutchinson expressed dismay at how the town had received relatively little investment compared to other Flintshire towns.

He said: “In the past 10 years, £18m has been invested, with Flint and Holywell receiving more than £4m, Connah’s Quay £3.1m and Buckley only £1.8m.

“We have set up the Buckley Town Partnership and we made very good progress on that.”

Cllr Matt Wright, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “Buckley is extremely important in Flintshire. It’s about one of eight towns we are targeting for some development.

“I think we have got to move forward. I am seeing a lot of investors from the private firms in Flintshire, and we are almost in a mini-boom as the economy begins to recover.”

Cllr Ron Hampson, who pushed for a summit meeting, was pleased at how the meeting went.

He said: “I hope it proves there is support for a second supermarket.”