Calls for action on derelict buildings in Greenfield

Published date: 12 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A DISGUSTED resident said people have “given up hope” anything will be done to three derelict buildings left empty after developers went bankrupt.

But Helmsley Group, the company which now owns the homes on Greenfield Road in Greenfield, said it is at the mercy of the local authority.

Resident Shirley McGauty, who lives nearby and walks her dog on the reservoir, said the houses were “absolutely disgusting”.

“They have just been left,” she said. “It’s depressing. The boards and the fences have been broken down and it just looks awful. And they’ve been broken into to do whatever they do.”

She added:  “Something should be done about them.

“I think people have given up hope. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

Speaking in July last year to the Leader, residents living close to the half finished three-storey properties also complained about children congregating at the site.

Helen Campbell, of Dyffryn Glas, said: “I see kids in there all the time. We can hear kicking and banging on the boards, the fire brigade has been out on numerous occasions, and one child was even sat on the roof.

“They recently set all the installation on fire too.”

Lyn Huxley, who lives next door to the site, saw one of the boards fall on her car causing damage costing hundreds of pounds.

But chairman of the Helmsley Group, John Reeves said building could not be completed until Flintshire Council completed necessary work on the reservoir at the rear of the properties.

“We’re ready to go,” he said. “We’re desperate to get on with it but we’re totally beholden to Flintshire Council.”

The homes back onto Flour Mill Reservoir where defences have needed upgrading for some time.

Mr Reeves said when Flintshire Council accepted responsibility for the necessary works about a year ago, he had hoped work on completing the homes could soon be restarted.

Flintshire councillor Rosetta Dolphin said the houses had been an eyesore since before she took office six years ago.

She said the situation was “horrendous” for nearby residents.

“But things have moved forward,” she said. “Flintshire has agreed they will go ahead and I’m told it will be this year.”

Although the council has until the end of June this year to complete the wall within dates set down by engineers, work has yet to begin and no date has been given to Mr Reeves for completion.

“What I want is a long stop date so we know they’ll have done the work by that date,” said Mr Reeves. “Without that I can’t even consider starting. We don’t want to have the houses finished and no one in them.”

In the meantime he said the company had done everything in its power to secure the buildings but they could not secure the land at the rear that backed onto the reservoir which left them at risk of vandalism.

Neal Cockerton, Flintshire Council's head of assets and transportation said the council was working with specialist advisers “towards developing solutions for the wave wall which will assist in allowing the development to progress”.

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