Concern as 200-year-old Grade II listed castle wall is demolished
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
The owners of Gwrych Castle say they are concerned that part of a 200-year-old Grade II listed boundary wall has been demolished. The section of wall near Eldon Drive in Abergele was removed at the weekend, leading to complaints to the council from residents.
The boundary wall separates the road from land belonging to Abergele councillor Andrew Wood, who said part of the wall had to be demolished as it was dangerous. The land was once part of the original Gwrych Castle estate but is now owned by Cllr Wood, a member of Conwy’s planning committee.
A local resident reported the demolition of the wall to Conwy’s planning department, but Cllr Wood said: “The wall has been previously extensively damaged by a third-party vehicle and was all loose and unsafe and had tumbled into the field, which can be seen in previous photos.
“The new water connection required for the smallholding from the main road has to go under the road and under the wall. The 750mm trench required by statute by Dwr Cymru for the underground supply was excavated by a professional contractor on Saturday.
“He deemed the wall to be very unsafe and said it had been undermined and condemned it, saying that it could be a danger to the public due to the weight of the stones. To ensure safety, the wall’s stone components were left on the grassed area where they could not fall.”
He added: “We have booked a stonemason team for Monday, March 20, to take the wall back to the two-metre original height in line with the repair needed.”
A spokesman for the Gwrych Castle estate said: “We share concerns with residents that part of the listed boundary wall has been damaged. We’re not aware of the full circumstances surrounding the wall being damaged at this stage.
“The wall is Grade II listed and is part of the Grade II listed landscape. A planning application to turn the land into allotments and a small caravan site was recently withdrawn. Cadw and other organisations objected to the plans as it would ruin the listed landscape.”
The Latham family also owns land adjacent to the damaged wall. A spokesman for the family added: “Our family have owned Abergele Gate Lodge since 1946, which neighbours Cllr Wood’s land, and we are shocked to see the park wall damaged.”
A spokeswoman for Conwy council said: “Planning Services look into any such concerns that are submitted to them, and valid complaints will always be investigated as a matter of course.”
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