Owner tight-lipped on Wrexham rescue centre’s future

Reporter:

Staff reporter

A BUSINESSMAN who bulldozed a historic building has refused to reveal his long term plans for the Wrexham landmark.

Neville Dickens, former Wrexham FC chairman, came under fire in August after he partially demolished the former Mines Rescue Centre in Maesgwyn Road.

He has previously stated he has planning permission to build apartments on the land.

Now the local authority is demanding he carry out work to prevent further deterioration to the listed building over the winter.

Mr Dickens, who owns the site, has agreed to comply with the council, but will not say what his long term plans are.

He said: “I am going to secure the building to prevent deterioration and will get this carried out as soon as possible. At present I can’t comment about any long term issues.”

Demolition was halted on the building following a mammoth public campaign to save it.

Wrexham Council stopped the bulldozers, but unfortunately part of the building was already destroyed.

It was then granted listed building status by historic building guardian Cadw.

Wrexham Council said it is now gathering evidence which can be used to bring prosecution proceedings following the unauthorised demolition bid.

A council spokesman said: “The condition of the building since the works were undertaken is also a matter of concern to the council and temporary works are now required to ensure the damaged elements of the building are maintained in a sound, secure and weather-tight condition to prevent any further deterioration in its condition over the winter months.

“Should the owner be unwilling to undertake this, the council will consider serving an Urgent Works Notice to ensure these necessary works are carried out.”

The rescue centre is in Brynyffynnon ward, represented by Cllr Phil Wynn. He has been a strong campaigner to ensure the premises are not bulldozed.

Cllr Wynn said: “I hope that the owner acknowledges the building’s importance.

“The Mines Rescue Centre is an important part of Wrexham’s heritage and we hope the owner carries out these essential works as soon as possible to ensure this historical building does not deteriorate any further.”

The centre is steeped in history. Those who trained at the station helped in the mission to rescue miners from the 1934 Gresford disaster, when an explosion claimed the lives of 266 people.

See full story in the Leader

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