More than 20 ‘difficult to let’ properties on a Wrexham council estate have been demolished as part of a huge housing modernisation project.
The council owned properties in the Peris and Gwynant areas of Plas Madoc have been knocked down and the ground beneath them levelled ready for potential new developments.
A total of 22 of the three storey, terraced houses were demolished down following Executive Board approval in 2016.
Described as being ‘unpopular’ and ‘difficult to let’, it is hoped that the demolition will make the start of a project which could lead to a number of further improvements on the site. This could include additional parking spaces for existing tenants, redesigned public spaces, extended gardens for existing homes and new build housing.
400 steel-framed ‘cubbitt’ houses on the estate are also due to receive re-roofing work and External Wall Insulation as part of the project, with work on some of the Plas Madoc properties is already underway.
The External Wall Insulation is designed to improve the energy efficiency of properties such as the steel-framed houses at Plas Madoc. Tenants will hopefully see savings on their heating bills as a result.
All the improvements will help ensure that we achieve the Welsh Government’s Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2020.
Local Member for Plas Madoc, Cllr Paul Blackwell, said he was “delighted to see that the improvement work on the estate has now started”.
He said: “The demolition has opened up whole new spaces on the estate and it’s quite amazing to see how different it looks now. There is a bit more room to breathe for the existing tenants in those areas and it also means we can now proceed with other improvement works planned for the estate.”
“Work on this scale inevitably presents a few challenges but I am pleased to say that the demolition work has gone very well and the next stage of the project, installing External Wall Insulation, is now underway. As well as the energy efficiency and structural benefits, installing External Wall Insulation will also transform the look of the estate and help make it fit for the future.”
“We’ve already carried out a number of consultation exercises with local tenants and residents, including information events at the local leisure centre. We’ll continue to ensure that we engage with the local community as work progresses.”
More than £56m is being invested into improvement works on council owned properties across the county borough in 2017/18 – including the installation of new kitchens and bathrooms, central heating systems and electrical rewires, if required.
External improvements have also been made to roofs, garden paths, walls and fences.
This includes a £7.5m Major Repairs Allowance grant, which the Welsh Government awards to local authorities to help them achieve the required Welsh Housing Quality Standard.
Lead Member for Housing, Cllr David Griffiths, described the works as a “positive and exciting time for social housing in Wrexham”.
Cllr Griffiths continued: “We manage over 11,000 properties of all sorts of shapes, ages and sizes so a project of this size was always going to present a few challenges and hurdles to overcome, but I’m pleased to say we are on track to meet the standard.
“We’ve carried out an enormous amount of work already on thousands of properties across the county borough.
“It’s about ensuring that all our tenants are able to live in properties which are modern, efficient, comfortable, safe and fit for the future and we will continue to do our utmost to ensure that the quality of the work remains high across the board.”
You can watch a video of the demolition – which includes some funky backing music – below: