Henblas Street Development
August 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm #154840
Apartments without car parking spaces are fine in cities and larger towns when there is work within walking distance or in cities a cheap Uber ride. The problem in Wrexham is limited work within easy reach of these proposed apartments which may prove off-putting.
They could, of course, be taken over by the Council en bloc so that they reduce the spend they currently make with a number of hotels and Bed and Breakfasts for those who qualify for “emergency” accommodation. This would not be a new expense but just relocation of where the Council spend their money.
There is quite a bit of work within walking distance, plus good bus and train links to other parts of Wrexham, Chester, Liverpool, Shrewsbury, etc and (at a push) Manchester and Birmingham.August 21, 2018 at 7:35 pm #154844
50 apartments is a good start to revitalise the town as a place to live but it will need significantly more apartments/flats if there will be changes in the retail offer and restaurant/cafe culture developments that make areas in cities have a vibrant feel.
The good thing about the Henblas Street development is that it is a single developer and can progress rapidly. Ideally, Regent Street should be developed but the downside is that there are so many property owners it will take a huge level of funding to entice them to do anything that resembles a single development opportunity.August 21, 2018 at 7:55 pm #154845
I welcome the possibility that vacant properties may be brought into use as residential accommodation in the centre of Wrexham. I despair at the redundant state of Wrexham town centre in general.
My optimism however, is tempered by the fact that the proposals will have to be considered by our illustrious Planning Committee who, let’s face it, have not got a great record for innovative thinking or indeed inventing ‘problems’ where there are none.
I wish the developers well with their application but I will be really surprised if they get the go ahead without recourse to the appeals process, with all the additional cost that entails for all of us.
I hope I am wrong, but time will tell.August 21, 2018 at 9:48 pm #154846
Planning committee should push it through – makes more sense to approve unused building converted into residential in town than on some sinking land in Llay.August 22, 2018 at 9:18 am #154848
The Henblas Street development sounds very positive.
Matt, I hear your concerns about the sinking land in Llay but it hasn’t done Venice any harm has it?
My friends at the Council Planning Office have supplied pictures of the Llay development.
(Sorry to hijack this thread but i needed to give Matt some reassurance)
A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.August 22, 2018 at 9:48 am #154849
Sounds like a good idea. As I suggested in another post, turn the town centre into residential and surround it by retail outlets.August 22, 2018 at 1:49 pm #154861
Let’s turn Llay into an international tourist destination – something it clearly deserves!August 23, 2018 at 9:47 am #154922
I see above that there is discussion concerning about “idiots” on Facebook wanting to see shops in the town and not houses, and the possibility that they are living in la-la land. Other people talk of converting whole commercial premises and whole streets into houses or apartments so that they will bring some desired economic clout into a town.
Let’s have some perspective. The debate is about bringing into play long redundant upstairs capacity and perhaps contributing to the need to augment the living space capacity of the town by a few hundred spaces. It shouldn’t be about shops per se. That would be crazy.
There’s nothing that brings economic activity to a town like a business. My old shop (Phase One) served over 2000 purchasing customers a week (over 3000 through the door) and these came from somewhere seeking something. Even now on dinky Bank Street we have a few thousand customers through the door per month. Whilst many of the writers on here dismiss what is reported in the media, many of these are actually tourists and out of town shoppers. Convert, for example, my existing shop into a house/apartment and calculate how much economic activity that will bring to the town. Worked it out?
Secondly, the town’s businesses pay business rates…….not household rates. My business unit has a Rateable Value of 12,500 (approx) and I pay over £6000 pa in Rates. On Henblas Street the Rates paid will be between 20,000 and a few hundred thousand pounds per year, in other words sustaining several teachers and nurse per unit pa. If you substitute a House/Apartment for the same, the Rate take will drop like a stone. Perhaps a different option could be tried, even at this stage. Drop the Business Rates on these units in such a way that a Business will set up there. I’m not, for example, on Bank Street in a cramped shop by choice. it’s by the Rates deterrent.
Lastly (for now). Businesses provide jobs and provide services. New businesses don’t have to be old-fashioned shops. What many towns are doing is pressing landlords to sub-divide their big old-hat units and developing small units for the Independents. If the Welsh Assembly would only get its Rating policy in line with England’s, a lot of small enterprises could spring up…….even in Wrexham. I now employ 4 people (self included). Mine is a dinky operation……but there are lots of people who would trade in Wrexham if the Rates base changedAugust 23, 2018 at 11:17 am #154930
To be born Welsh is to be born privileged, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but with music in your blood, and poetry in your soul.August 23, 2018 at 8:42 pm #154978
Alunh – a key point about the rates is that these are paid centrally and come back to Wrexham via Welsh Government under an old established formula so increases in what is being collected do not all filter back to Wrexham. There are rate reductions still available for some small businesses.
Many of the retail properties in Wrexham have vacant spaces on first and or second floor so there is hope that you can still retain retail and residential in the same properties — the downside is that there are so many landlords any change of use would be piecemeal. The Henblas Street development and the top end of Regent Street with the Methodist Chapel are the only ones in Wrexham with multiple units owned by single landlords.
The “Tonight” programme on TV tonight looked at declining High Streets with ideas such as ‘crazy golf’ and other social type activities — these are all well and good for places like Oxford Street with vast footfall- Wrexham, however, has such low numbers that any such activities will be a proportionately cheaper investment – if you wanted to create destination social activities then they are likely to be Plas Coch or Denelm area so that customers have free car parking and easy access.
If you look at somewhere like Broughton – they have succeeded in developing a destination shopping space with food, social, a mix of shops and supermarket — doesn’t seem to matter when you go there they seem to have almost 100% occupancy of the car park. If a survey was conducted of the visitors I am sure a large number would be coming from Wrexham and surrounding area with shoppers travelling in a hub and spoke pattern with Broughton being the hub. If you live in North Wrexham – Gresford, Marford, Gwersylly=t, Llay etc you can travel to Broughton and park up and bein in a venue quicker than coming into Wrexham.
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