Council split over use of empty building in Wrexham

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

COMMUNITY councillors are at odds over what do with a large building in the village which has been empty for over five years.

Cambrian House, a century-old former industrial and business block close to High Street, Brymbo, is owned by the community council which has unsuccessfully been trying to find new tenants since its last occupants, a medical components firm, moved out in around 2005.

Over recent months it has been hit by flooding caused by burst pipes.

At their last meeting a number of Brymbo Community Council members suggested a caretaker should be taken on to look after the building.

But Cllr Paul Rogers, who is also the county councillor for the area, hit out at this suggestion and claimed the building had become a liability.

He said: “The building had been leased by Wrexham Council who used it as business units.

“Before the lease ended the community council and Wrexham Council carried out a feasibility study to see whether the building could be converted for community use. The report recommended that the community council dispose of Cambrian House and reinvest the proceeds elsewhere in the community.

“However, the community council decided they should retain the building and seek business tenants.

“Over 12 months on from the decision to seek tenants the building is still vacant.”

He added: “Cambrian House is becoming a liability and the people of Brymbo, Bwlchgwyn and Tanyfron would not be supportive of spending hundreds if not thousands of pounds of their rates on a caretaker for a building which has been empty for many years.

“We are already paying energy bills without the costs of these flooding incidents.

“You cannot blame the floods on not having a caretaker, as the building is empty the council had a number of options which could have prevented these incidents.”

Part of the building is now due to be converted into a laundry business. Cllr Rogers has welcomed this development and called on the council to look at other options for rest of the building.

Community council chairman Tony Birch added: “The matter will be discussed again at our next meeting.

“My personal opinion is that at some future stage we should considering divesting ourselves of the building, which has become a burden to the community council.”

See full story in the Leader

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