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Posted: Thu 25th Nov 2021

Council “hellbent on trashing our heritage for no good reason” says local councillor for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Nov 25th, 2021

Rhosddu councillor Marc Jones has branded the most recent plans to demolish the old Vicarage as work of a council “hellbent on trashing our heritage for no good reason”.

Yesterday we reported the most recent update on the ‘Centre 67’ / old Vicarage building, as tree-related issues had been “resolved” so plans to demolish the building will now be actioned with the council saying the move will “hopefully pave the way for new social housing”.

Responding to plans local councillor Marc Jones said: “Last month’s planning committee voted against demolition yet that has been ignored under delegated powers held by officers.

“I think the council is vulnerable to a legal challenge but of course that costs money and the leadership has probably taken the calculated decision that those opposing demolition don’t have the means to challenge in the courts.

“I note the council leader is talking enthusiastically about new housing and the need to clear the site. Surely the sensible way to proceed is to draw up plans and retain the existing building – it’s a sound, prominent part of our local heritage and one key aspect of tackling climate change is to retain and re-use existing buildings rather than release more carbon into the atmosphere by demolition and building anew.

“On the one hand this council is declaring a climate emergency, on the other other hand it’s contributing to it with this needless demolition of an historic building. It should be leading by example but is, instead, hellbent on trashing our heritage for no good reason. It’s beyond a joke.”

The comments Cllr Jones referred to were made yesterday by Cllr Mark Pritchard, Lead Member for Assets and Leader of the Council who said: “The preference is for a new-build social housing scheme. This would be similar to the fantastic work we’ve done at Nant Silyn and Hightown in recent years, where we’ve been able to build smart, modern homes for the people of Wrexham.

“However, to move forward with this aspiration, we need to clear key parts of the site, including the area of land occupied by Centre 67. So being able to demolish the disused building is an important step forward.”

Councillor David Griffiths, Lead Member for Housing said yesterday: “Now the tree-related issues have been resolved, I’m delighted we can progress with exploring options for the site in more detail.

“The easy choice would be to sell the land to a private developer, but we don’t want to do that – we want to provide the right kind of housing for local people who need it.

“Demolishing Centre 67 will support both the cost of any new-build social housing scheme, and make it easier to meet important carbon targets and if we can realise our aspirations, it will be the latest in many successful housing projects we’ve delivered in Wrexham.”

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