Posted: Mon 17th Jan 2022

Disused toilet block could be demolished to make way for “much needed” community hub at Rossett Park for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jan 17th, 2022

A disused toilet block in Rossett park could soon be demolished to make way for a “much needed” community hub.

The plans for the site have been submitted to Wrexham Council by JAR Architecture on behalf of Rossett Community Council.

The existing building is described as being more than 50 years old, but has been closed for the last five due to vandalism and unacceptable behaviour.

Proposals had been initially been submitted in January 2021 but were withdrawn after discussions with the council’s planning officer regarding the initial scale and orientation of the building.

12 months on the plans have been put forward again for ‘Hwb Yr Orsedd’, a new facility “at the heart of the village of Rossett intended to serve the local community in a variety of needs on behalf of the Rossett Community Council.”

If approved the hub would aim to provide a space “to provide necessary service to community and fill several needs that are currently wanting in the community.”

This includes somewhere for families to meet up with friends while the children use the park facilities, a place that brings people together, reduces isolation and helps them form new relationships and support networks in the wake of the pandemic and a shared community space for groups of different ages and interests to meet, socialise and participate in shared activities

The applicants say the building would also serve as a “focal point for delivering essential mobile services such as a library and post office which are currently difficult to access for many of those who need them the most, particularly the elderly.”

Further details of the appearance and layout of the building are provided within the application’s design and access statement, which says the hub would be an “L-shape” with an entrance from the park and a second from The Green / Chester Road.

The design and access statement says: “Beside the principal entrances, the three sets of sliding glazed doors which serve to create a visual connection to the park can, in pleasant weather, open the Hwb out entirely to the park allowing free traversal between the two amenities.

“Key to having a multifunctional space is the omission of fixtures as far as is practicable. As such, it has been determined that the area that can be considered the activity space must be maximised by concentrating all other accommodation to one corner of the Hwb.

“It is intended that any furniture be moveable and capable of being secreted away in the Storeroom included for this purpose amongst others. The possibility of the Service Counter to be equally mobile is to be explored such that the 15m2 dedicated to the point of service can give way to the activity space as required.

“Located centrally to the Hwb is the office space intended for the use of the manager. This room is to be glazed to allow management to see directly into the service area and the activity space while also having views out into the park.

“The design intention in this instance applies the core concept of visual connectivity to the park to the interior design rationale.”

The applicants add: “The development of the Hwb Yr Orsedd is predicated on providing a community amenity for the Rossett area with the intention enriching both the existing park and providing a place where local residents can meet and connect.

“The intention throughout this statement is to demonstrate that there is a variety of factors that lend support to the demolition of the
existing toilet block in favour of a sensitively designed contemporary replacement.

“The design choices made throughout the design process have sought to balance the needs of the client, the local vernacular and vision for the Rossett are in the context of national legislative targets for energy performance.

“Throughout the process, the client has diligently engaged Wrexham Planning to ensure that the proposal put forth for the Hwb is as
amenable as possible to the points raised in the consultation.

“Ultimately, Hwb Yr Orsedd is a proposal that is intended to serve and enrich the Rossett Area.

“There is a demonstrable stake in the development of the Hwb evidenced by the engagement in the public consultation held by Rossett Community Council and it is viewed that this is an opportunity to engender community pride and ownership over the built environment.

“It is for this reason and those enumerated throughout this report that Hwb Yr Orsedd is deemed appropriate, if not necessary, for the site and wider context.”

The application will be considered for approval by Wrexham Council at a later date.

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