Protest planned on Saturday ahead of demolition of the old Vicarage in Rhosddu by council
A protest has been arranged as preparatory work has begun for the planned demolition of the old Vicarage on Rhosddu Road by Wrexham Council.
Rhosddu Councillor Marc Jones has said, “The council has already spent £20,000 on scaffolding and estimates for the cost of demolition are upwards of £50,000. The building’s Welsh slates and Cefn stone will be taken by the demolition firm.”
“The council currently has no plan in place to replace the building, which sits next to St James’s Church. It has long-term plans to clear the site behind and alongside the Rhosddu Spar, where the Greenacres office space sits. It’s still unclear what the future of the Cunliffe Centre run by the council’s social services department on the same site will be.”
Cllr Jones has said he has no answer from the Lead Member for Housing, Cllr David A Bithell, nor the chief officer to his queries, “I’ve asked the lead member and chief housing officer for details of the plans they have in place for this site. I haven’t, to date, had an answer and my fear is that we’re going to see a bombsite in place of this building for many years. It won’t be the first time this has happened of course.
“I’m also concerned that, for all the talk of social housing, that there is nothing set in stone and that this political leadership could yet sell the site – especially once cleared of this building – to make a profit.”
The Wrexham Council-owned building has been vacant since 2005, and the council has previously said clearing the site will allow them to “progress with looking at future options for the land – including detailed work on a masterplan” – with the Council Leader Mark Pritchard saying late last year the ‘preference is for a new-build social housing scheme’.
Cllr Jones appeared skeptical today, “If the council was serious about building social housing – as is desperately needed in Rhosddu and elsewhere in the borough – then I would have expected to see a plan and a budget by now. Their silence speaks volumes.”
To highlight the issue, a protest has been organised for mid-day this Saturday on site in advance of any demolition, which is rumoured to commence next week.
Cllr Jones said: “This is a building of significance and part of our heritage. It needs to be reused rather than demolished. Unfortunately this council does not have a good track record of respecting our heritage or culture and I’d urge anyone who does care about the future of our Wrexham to come along on Saturday to show their feelings.”
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