Mixed feelings over old Wrexham police HQ

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

THE POLICE headquarters should be demolished according to some Leader readers while others say it could be converted into flats.

As the Leader revealed on Wednesday, the 14-storey building at Bodhyfryd could be knocked down in the next 10  years.

Police say it is “likely” the tower complex will go because it is becoming dated and maintenance liabilities of £6 million over the next 10 years have been identified.

Responding to the news, ‘bornacorn’ wrote on the Leader website: “It's brutalist design. It belongs in a cramped inner city like Manchester or London, or in a former Soviet bloc. Not in a town like Wrexham.”

‘a cahill’ wrote: “Everything about buildings of that time shouts ugly and eyesore and Wrexham seems to have its fair share of them.

“Hightown flats and the police station being the most visible.”

‘GlynTheMilk’ wrote: “People never learn from the mistakes of the past, where unfashionable buildings are branded eyesores, and ultimately demolished.”

‘hen ddraig’ wrote: “Maybe the building should be listed by CADW and preserved as a classic example of how not to build a public building.”

And ‘eveningreader’ wrote: “I hope they are mindful that peregrine falcons are nesting on top of the HQ when the building is demolished.”

Reg Thorpe, head of conservation management at the RSPB North Wales office, said: “We are aware there are peregrine falcons nesting on tall buildings in Wrexham, including the police station, but not that there are plans for a building with a nesting pair to be demolished. If that’s the case, we could strongly advise that an alternative nesting site is established before the demolition commences.

“The biodiversity officer at the local council is best placed to be involved in this as they will know the area and be able to assess the opportunities to position a nest ledge/platform on adjacent buildings.

“More peregrines are moving away from cliff tops and roosting and nesting on high rise buildings across Britain, so it’s not unusual to see these birds in urban areas, but it’s still very important to protect these species and their habitats.”

Nick Roe of the Civic Society in Wrexham feels that people should recognise the building as characteristic of its period.

He said: “Why doesn’t brutalist architecture belong in Wrexham? Our town has examples of most architectural styles. The police tower isn't a great example of its type and I wouldn't lie down in front of the bulldozers for it, but we should be careful in making judgements about things we are close to in time. Words like ‘eyesore’ or ‘monstrosity’ were used in the 1970s for Victorian buildings we now cherish.”

He added: “It is bulky and monolithic but I would think that a mature community with a sense of history should be able to accept something like that. It would be nice to see it reused and it’s the sort of building that might be able to be converted to flats or a hotel.”

See full story in the Leader

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read