ROUGH sleepers are being banished from a derelict underpass in Wrexham.
Network Rail is building a steel fence around an underpass off Central Retail Park in an attempt to deter homeless people and drug users from congregating on its land.
It comes after Asda made a bid to build a wall and railings to keep ‘undesirables’ off its premises on Holt Road.
Calls are being made for a multi-agency approach to combat the problem of homelessness.
Cllr Phil Wynn, whose Brynyfynnon ward includes the underpass, said: “The problem is that as soon as they shut the site off, the homeless people are going to move elsewhere. There is somebody sleeping rough there at the moment.
“At the end of the day, these people need our help. They have an addiction which needs addressing.
“It’s making sure we get the right outcome and seeing reduced numbers.
“This must involve the police, council and homeless shelters across Wrexham.”
The Pennaf Housing Group, which includes the Clwyd Alyn Housing Association, which operates the Ty Nos night shelter on Holt Road, is inviting homeless people to source a copy of its Rough Sleepers’ Guide, which tells them where to go in Wrexham for support.
Chief executive Graham Worthington said: “People find themselves in unfortunate circumstances for a wide variety of reasons.
“They should contact the local authority or organisations like ourselves, and we will make every effort to help them.”
Asda submitted plans to Wrexham Council to extend its perimeter wall and fit a secure gate around a wooded area next to a footpath.
In its application, agents Key Electrical said: “This is to secure the area keeping out undesireables, and to prevent the area from becoming an eyesore to the general public.”
Last year anxious parents told the Leader they were tired of seeing homeless people drinking on the streets and finding needles on the path.
A spokesman for Wrexham Council said: “There is a lot of multi-agency working ongoing at the moment to address the issue of homelessness in Wrexham.
“Events have been held to contact the individuals affected which have been well attended and as a result several have been able to access the help and support they need to improve their situation.
“Multi-agency working is providing vital support and help to this particular group of people and work will continue in this area.”
It is not yet known when work to the underpass near Bradley Road will take place.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We have been working with British Transport Police (BTP) to remove the rough sleepers from a redundant arch under a railway bridge.
“After several attempts to get them to move on, we have decided to erect a palisade fence with concrete at the bottom to stop people getting in and out.”
Sergeant Karl Anderson from the BTP added: “The area around this disused railway arch has certainly become something of an eyesore, so we’ve been working closely with Network Rail to come up with a plan to improve the area as a whole.
“Vagrants have been known to congregate in the arch and it has also been frequented by drug users.
“This project will see the entire area being cleaned up and sealed off, improving the general environment in the process.
“We will continue to monitor the area following completion of the works and will carry on working in partnership with Network Rail to ensure it remains a pleasant environment.
“Our officers will not hesitate in taking action to eradicate any illegal activities in and around Wrexham Central rail station.”