Council accused of ‘trashing’ Wrexham’s history over old vicarage demolition
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A local authority has been accused of “trashing” Wrexham’s history as the demolition of an old vicarage looks set to move forward.
Councillors turned down proposals relating to a property known as Centre 67 in Rhosddu in September amid concerns about the loss of the historic building.
However, the plans are now due to go ahead to make room for social housing after issues surrounding the impact on trees were resolved.
Wrexham Council officials concluded planning permission was not required for the demolition after making a decision using delegated powers.
The move has been slammed by local councillor Marc Jones, who has been campaigning to save the building.
The Plaid Cymru politician also claimed it could leave the council open to legal action.
He 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.
“Surely the sensible way to proceed is to draw up plans and retain the existing building – it’s a sound, prominent building and part of our local heritage.
“On the one hand this council is declaring a climate emergency, on the other hand it’s contributing to it with this needless demolition of an historic building.
“It should be leading by example but is, instead, hell-bent on trashing our heritage for no good reason. It’s beyond a joke.”
Centre 67 was last used in 2005 and hopes were raised that it could be be turned into a community hub.
Plans to tear down the property were first discussed by the authority in 2013, but later put on hold.
Wrexham Council has been asked to comment on the decision to demolish it.
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Looks straight and in decent order; why demolish it? If the council want flats, then split it into flats. Turn the car park into a garden – it would be like the back green of a tenement; they are multi-use, with grass for games/picnics, greenhouses and borders for flowers and vegetables.
Social housing is clearly needed so why not get the best of both worlds from this site and include social housing in the plan without destroying this historic building.
I used to know the vicar’s son when I was a kid, and I went into this former vicarage a number of times. It is too fine a building to demolish, and should certainly be used for social housing. But Cyngor Wrecsam have form when it comes to bulldozing the town’s architectural heritage.