Plans to transform derelict buildings in Ruabon into affordable homes have been put on hold until summer to protect bats found living on the site.
A group of bats have been seen at the vacant, half-finished homes which stand on the former Victoria Garage site in Ruabon, which was acquired by Wales & West Housing in 2017.
The housing association has now instructed ecologists to conduct surveys to ensure the bats are unharmed and their habitat not damaged by any development on site.
It had hoped to demolish the buildings early this year to start work on a row of two-bed homes, providing much-needed social housing for the area.
Three separate surveys of the bats are needed and these are expected to be completed by the end of May.
Anne Hinchey, Chief Executive of Wales & West Housing, said: “We are pleased to be in a position to bring more affordable homes to Wrexham but protecting the bats is a priority.
“We hope to gain planning permission and start working on site as soon as possible after the surveys have been completed and we have taken advice and recommendations from ecologists.”
In 2004, a developer started work on three homes on the site of the former Victoria Garage in Ruabon, near the corner of High Street and Maes y Llan Lane. But work on the buildings was never completed, and the half-finished houses have sat empty ever since.
Wrexham Council secured the site and made it safe following this, but due to the complications around ownership and development, the buildings could not be knocked down or outright redeveloped.
Work by the council, the Crown, Ruabon Community Council and Wales & West Housing has made the redevelopment possible.
A spokesman for Wrexham County Borough Council said: “A survey commissioned by Wales and West Housing Association identified the presence of bats in the buildings.
“Further surveys will be carried out, and proposals will be re-submitted once the additional surveys have taken place.”