'Eyesore' buildings in Ruabon to be developed at last

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

Undeveloped buildings in the heart of a village will soon see a new lease of life – after a lengthy and complicated wait.

In 2004, a developer started work on three homes on the site of the former Victoria Garage in Ruabon, near the corner of High Street and Maes y Llan Lane.

But work on the buildings was never completed, and the half-finished houses have sat empty ever since.

Work to secure the site and make it safe was carried out in the interim by Wrexham Council.

But due to the complications around ownership and development, the buildings – which have been branded an “eyesore” by a councillor and Assembly Member – could not be knocked down or outright redeveloped.

Now, with involvement from Wrexham Council, the Crown’s Solicitors, Ruabon Community Council and Wales and West Housing, the site can finally be redeveloped.

The buildings were acquired by the Crown Estate, who in turn sold them to Wales and West Housing.

This means that the housing association can now redevelop the site for much-needed social housing in the area.

Cllr David Griffiths, Wrexham Council’s lead member for housing, said: “It’s excellent news to see that some progress is afoot with these buildings.

“I’d like to thank those at our housing and economy department and Cllr Dana Davies as the local member for all the work they’ve put in on this – their efforts in following this up and ensuring a positive outcome have been indispensable.

“It’s also incredibly good news to see the site will be redeveloped for social housing, which I am sure will be put to great use at the heart of Ruabon.”

Cllr Davies, local member for Ruabon and chairman of
Ruabon Community Council, said: “I’m incredibly pleased to have some good news regarding this site.

“The people of Ruabon have been blighted by this eyesore for too long, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll be glad to see these buildings redeveloped and put to good use.

“I’m very grateful for all the support we’ve received from the Housing Partnership team at Wrexham Council, who have
put in a lot of hours over this issue.

“I’m also grateful we were able to make use of the Welsh Government’s empty homes funding which enabled the council to pursue a successful legal solution.”

Anne Hinchey, chief executive of Wales and West Housing, said: “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to transform this
site into an attractive row of
two-bedroom houses, to help meet the need for more affordable homes in Wrexham.”

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said: “I’m thrilled for the people of Ruabon that they will soon no longer have to put up with this eyesore and I’m pleased the Welsh Government has been able to help.

“Dana is one of a number of people who have worked incredibly hard over many years to deliver this very welcome result and I’d like to
congratulate and thank her – along with the community council and the residents of Ruabon – for not letting this important issue drop.”

For information about how to register for affordable housing, contact the council’s housing department on 01978 298 993.

Wrexham Council offers a number of incentives to support owners of long-term empty properties including interest-free loans, assistance with arranging contractors, and support to let and manage properties.

For further information call 01978 315587 or email emptyhomes@wrexham.gov.uk.

Email:

jonathan.grieve@nwn.co.uk

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