Demolition of the old presbytery: “We plan to clear the entire site to build new social housing” > News

Job : Wed 16 November 2022

The Senior Member of Wrexham Council for Housing has pledged the future of the former Vicarage site in Rhosddu after demolition to build new council-owned social housing.

On Monday we reported how a protest is planned prior to the demolition of the old Rectory at Rhosddu by Wrexham Council. In the article, we detailed how Rhosddu Councilor Marc Jones was unhappy with Core Member for Housing, Cllr David A Bithell, saying: “I have asked the Core Member and Director of Housing for details of the plans they have in place for this site. I haven’t had an answer so far.”

Cllr Jones had expressed ‘concern’ that ‘political leaders could still sell the site – particularly once rid of this building – for a profit’.

We invited the Principal Member and Head of Council to clarify the future of the Center 67 building and site, and whether a historically stated commitment to social housing on the wider site was still maintained under the current new administration. We also asked if there were any plans for the Greenacres site, and if there were any shareable plans on the wider site as a whole.

Cllr David A Bithell told us: “I was disappointed that Cllr Jones told that he had received no response, this is false and misleading and I would expect better from the boss. a political group. For clarity, we are planning to clear the whole site to build new Council houses which are much needed in Wrexham as the waiting list exceeds 4,000.

“It was supported by the executive council and the full council. I find the whole situation extremely disappointing that Cllr Marc Jones does not support the construction of new Council houses in Rhosddu. It appears to focus on a disused building that has stood empty for 14 years. Officers are currently reviewing the entire site and when this work is complete we will present the business case and consult with the local member. »

Leader of Wrexham Council Mark Pritchard said: ‘I find the whole situation bizarre from Councilor Marc Jones who seems to suggest he is not supporting the building of new council houses in Wrexham when we have a waiting list of over 4,000 people. Wales is facing a housing crisis and as Leader of Council I will not rest until we provide much needed additional Council accommodation in Rhosddu and Wrexham.

“I won’t play politics with Cllr Marc Jones who seems determined to play games on very serious issues.”

Cllr Pritchard said: ‘It is hypocritical for the chairman of Plaid Cymru who pledged with his party in his 2022 manifesto to reduce homelessness and build more energy efficient carbon footprint social housing.

“I have received an email from Cllr Marc Jones confirming that he would support the demolition of the Old Rectory (C67) and if he agrees I will share this email in the public domain.”

We asked Cllr Marc Jones about the email in question, and he told us that he shared it last night with all the advisers of his own free will.

Cllr Jones shared what he emailed councilors: “You will know from yesterday’s correspondence that the head of council has requested permission to post an email from me regarding the demolition of the former Vicarage (alias Center 67).

“The email dates from July 2017, two months after my election. I share it below.

“As you can see this followed a meeting where the head of council called me to discuss the plan to demolish the building. I went to do some research and found that the council had rejected two credible offers for purchase the buildings for housing and for a training academy.

“The proposal at the time was to sell the site for a capital receipt and I had a number of questions about the plans. I have not received a response to these questions.

“I’ll let you be the judge if it was an email from five years ago that supported scrapping.

“I look forward to seeing a number of you at the protest against this demolition on Saturday midday.”

The email provided is copied in full below:

From: Marc Jones
Date: Tue, Jul 4, 2017 at 11:31 a.m.
Subject: Demolition of Center 67, Rhosddu Road
To: Mark Pritchard

Dear Mark

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss the future of Center 67 last week.

I also discussed this and the broader possibility of developing the Greenacres adult social services site with Steve Bayley.

I have concerns about the demolition of any historic building – this was the former rectory of St James’s Church – so any decision should consider the following:

1. Has it been marketed for alternative use? In 2014, there were two expressions of interest.

2. Is the maintenance of the building block development on the site behind?

3. What type of housing would the expanded site be used for – elderly/sheltered? Municipality/housing association/private?

4. In the event of a sale, would the capital receipt be reserved for education and, in particular, for the new schools on the Groves site?

If I can get assurances that there is no practical alternative use, that it would be used to meet existing local housing demand and that all receipts would be reserved for the development of education on The Groves site, then I would support demolition.



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