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Housing plans on site of former youth club given the go ahead despite safety concerns

Plans to build new houses on the site of a former youth club have been approved by councillors, despite safety concerns.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had advised that proposals for up five homes on the site of the The Maelor Youth Club in Acrefair should be rejected.

Officials said there would be safety implications from allowing development near the former Flexys Rubber Chemicals factory on the outskirts of Wrexham, which closed in 2011.

However, council officers said the facility had been decommissioned and the application should be approved.
It follows permission for a housing development previously being granted on the nearby Air Products site.

Speaking at a planning committee meeting, Cllr Paul Pemberton said he believed it would help to clean up the area.
He said: “I pass this place on a regular basis two or three times a week.

“It’s been empty for some time and I’m glad this has come up because it’s a shame to see the building as it is. It has got a lot of history for the area.

“I think it’ll go a long way to tidying up the area, especially with Air Products across the way.”

The youth centre was struck by a large blaze in 2017, which caused widespread damage.

It was sold for £20,000 in April by auctioneers Pugh & Co and has now been demolished despite calls by Cefn Community Council for it to be preserved.

Cllr Graham Rogers, who was unaware of the building being knocked down, questioned whether its brickwork had any special architectural merit.

In response, planning chair Mike Morris said jokingly: “It’s not special any more because it’s gone. If you want to go and scratch around in the rubble feel free.

“In all honesty though I don’t know what it was on the front of the building, but I can assure you the building’s gone.”

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of approving the houses.

The HSE will now be notified and has 21 days to decide whether to call the application in to be considered by the Welsh Government.

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

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