Council change position after new £200k bid for Ebenezer Chapel – public auction plan scrapped
Plans by Wrexham Council to publicly auction off the Ebenezer Chapel in Cefn Mawr tomorrow have been scrapped with new instructions issued to auctioneers to get ‘best offers’ for the building by Thursday.
Among those looking to buy it are members of the Plas Kynaston Canal Group, which has ambitious plans to link it to plans for a new cable car system. Recently the group have offered Wrexham Council £100,000 for the site ahead of the previously impending auction, however that was rejected, and today they have offered £200,000 in a ‘deal or no deal’ plea.
Ten days ago Wrexham Council effectively rejected the £100k offer, with Council Leader Mark Pritchard saying a public auction was a preferred route as it “…is more transparent, it’s more open and it gives everybody an opportunity to go after something that they want.”
Today, 24 hours before the property was due to go under the hammer publicly, Steve Bayley, Head of Housing and Economy at Wrexham Council, said: “When selling the building, we have a duty to secure the best price (where possible). With that in mind, we decided to auction the chapel. This was expected to be completed on Tuesday, February 19.
“However, we have been listening to the concerns of the local community, and one of the issues which came through clearly was the concern that the building could be sold and then put to use in a way which not help the future regeneration of the village.
“To try to address this concern – but at the same time still secure a fair price for the building – we have asked the auctioneer to ask for proposed uses and best offers for the building by Thursday, February 21, instead of putting the building before a public auction.
“While we are not obliged to accept any of the offers we receive, this will allow us to consider a range of proposals for the use of the building and ensure that it achieves a fair price.
“This also allows us to work with the National Heritage Lottery fund, which co-funded some of the original repair works to Ebenezer Chapel, to see if they can help us to determine the most productive use for the building before deciding whether or not to accept any of the offers.”
At the time of writing the lot is still active for the auction tomorrow.
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