Historic Flintshire buildings could be demolished

Reporter:

Lois Hough

HISTORIC buildings in Deeside which have been trashed by vandals could now be demolished.

An application to bulldoze the former headquarters of the John Summers Steelworks in Garden City, including laboratories, a canteen and a garage, has been submitted to Flintshire Council because landowners are fed up with paying for security.

The iconic five-storey listed clocktower building will be retained.

The land has been blighted with graffiti, litter and drug paraphernalia since new owners took over in June.

Hundreds of pounds worth of oil has been stolen from underground pumps at a disused garage and manhole covers around the site have also lifted by thieves.

More than £45,000 has been spent trying to secure the site, including boarding up windows and installing fencing.

Sealand councillor Christine Jones is supporting the plans to demolish the buildings.

She said: “It’s costing an absolute fortune to have the buildings secured and it hasn’t worked because they are still getting in and vandalising the place.

“They are an open target and they are a danger to the people who trespass inside.

“I’d love them to be demolished because of all the trouble we have had.

“It is devastating that it has come to this.”

Landowners Pochin Goodman paid £5million for the 200 acres of surplus Corus land in June but have yet to develop it.

This site forms half of the total area known as the Northern Gateway, which is intended to form an extension to Deeside Industrial Park.

The development will involve 650 houses as well as new offices, warehouses and workshops and is expected to take 15 years to complete.

Pochin’s agents Legat Owen told the Leader that the demolition was necessary on health and safety grounds.

Legat Owen director Susan Haslam said: “It is heartbreaking.

“They have been in and completely trashed all of the buildings.

“They have pulled down ceilings, ripped radiators from the wall and taken every bit of scrap metal they can.

“They have even tipped all of the planters upside down and taken the lead from the bottom of the pots.

“The buildings are ultimately going to be demolished in any event, so if we demolish them now then nobody can be hurt.”

But Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami is urging planners to rethink their decision to destroy the site.

He said: “It is very sad that an application to demolish these buildings has been submitted.

“Whilst the iconic clocktower will be retained the other buildings on the site are nonetheless very significant to the history of the site.

“My feeling is that we should retain as much of our industrial heritage as possible because it has defined our community for the last century.”

The application will be considered by Flintshire Council planning officers in the next month.

- What do you think about plans to demolish these buildings? Leave a comment below or email lois.hough@nwn.co.uk.

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