15 year Groves saga may be decided in a few weeks – ‘protection & reopening’ for education an ‘expected outcome’
The potential usage of the former Groves school looks set to be back on the agenda later this summer – with an upcoming report set to be examined by councillors in nine weeks time, potentially ending a long running saga over the future of the site.
In June 2018 it was announced that a feasibility study on the future of the school had been bounced to later this year year. In October last year Wrexham Council said it wanted to build a new school on the land, famously 43 days after it was deemed surplus to requirements.
Documents published ahead of next week’s customers, performance, resources and governance scrutiny committee, show that an update on the Grove has been rescheduled for September 26th.
The report, which is due to be presented by Council Leader Mark Pritchard, says its purpose is to: “Fully understand the current status of the building and site in terms of council strategy and to explore potential future uses within the restrictions of the covenant on the site regarding educational use.”
Expected outcomes of the report and exploring the “potential” uses of the site are ‘expected’ to be the: “Protection and reopening of a listed building which could be used for new and improved learning environments” although the committee form their own outputs.
The full contents of the report are yet to be made public.
In August last year the indicated desire from some to place a medical centre on the site, a plan that appears to have been parked.
Previously Council Leader Mark Pritchard called those who set up the covenants ‘visionaries who want to cater for education in the town’ and last year reiterated that ‘the Education Department has always had aspirations to put one or even two schools on this site‘.
The school itself closed in 2003, with some ongoing use until 2005/6, and work took place in 2012 on clearing parts of the site, however there has been no definitive plan in that 15 year period.
The long running Groves saga has been ongoing since 2003, with the latest work taking place in 2012 when the old 1960’s teaching block was demolished.
Since then the remaining Groves building has been listed, challenged, unlisted, and listed again – with protests taking place, and banners and ribbons even being removed by Wrexham Council.
There has been much debate about the use of the site, with any non-education use likely meaning a covenant would have to be overturned – something that has been mentioned in previous discussions.
You can take part in a discussion on the Groves and its future on our forums, here.
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