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Homeowner enters dispute with local authority over bid to remove ‘broken’ mosaic tiles

A woman who’s lived on the outskirts of Wrexham town centre for around 60 years has entered a dispute with the local authority after it rejected her bid to remove a mosaic from outside her home.

Kathleen Jones said her son started work to repaint the property on Ruabon Road in October 2018, during which he discovered the tiles were falling apart.

As a result, he decided to install wood panelling in its place, but Wrexham Council brought the work to a halt and later rejected her application to replace the design.

Planning officers said the proposals would result in the loss of a distinguishing feature of the house.

However, Mrs Jones has now launched an appeal in a bid to have the decision overturned as she claimed she would be unable to afford the replacement tiles.

In documents submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, she added that the council had since put up scaffolding round her home to prevent work continuing.

She said: “When my son started to repaint the house, he found much of the woodwork needed repairing. That was when the problem with the tiles between the upper and lower front windows became apparent.

“Due to deterioration, the tiles just fell apart, most were broken due to age and were unable to be salvaged.

“I am sure you will appreciate, had my son not acted as he did immediately, the whole house could have been affected, especially as it was the winter period.

“The method taken was never meant to be destructive, quite the reverse as it was the best possible remedy in the pressing circumstances.”

Mrs Jones said the panelling was designed to replicate the appearance of houses on the opposite side of the street.

She added that the mosaic pieces required to replace the old one were no longer likely to be in existence.

She said: “The lower part of the window cannot be finished until the council scaffolding is taken down.

“I have made no headway in replacing (the) mosaic panels. If it were possible to find a maker, the cost would be far out of my reach.”

In rejecting her application, Wrexham Council’s chief planning officer said the property was within a conservation area and removing the mosaic would not protect its appearance.

In his decision notice, Lawrence Isted said: “The proposals fail to accord with the adopted policy guidance, resulting in the loss of a distinguishing feature of the building, which is seen as a pair with the adjoining property.

“The proposals therefore fail to preserve or enhance the special character and appearance of the Fairy Road Conservation Area.”

The appeal will be heard by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.

*Picture: Planning Documents

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).



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