Old Wrexham colliery site could host new community

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Staff reporter

ONE of the region’s most famous industrial landmarks could become home to a new community.

The former Bersham Bank Colliery site in Rhostyllen, which closed in 1986 with the loss of 300 jobs, could eventually be replaced by homes and shops.

A new passenger line and station are also a possibility, created from rail sidings which would initially be used to transport equipment needed to carry out the multi-million pound development.

West Midlands-based developers Bersham (Glenside) Ltd plan to remove the huge slag heap at the site, which has been designated as’”amenity land’, and prepare it for development in the future.

Mike Killett, the firm’s technical director said: “We believe in promoting the site for a more beneficial purpose.

“It’s a strategic position on the outskirts of Wrexham and close to a major arterial road, the A483, so it has lots of potential as a residential and commercial development.”

The company is yet to begin work to remove six million tons of burned shale, which could take between seven and nine years, but Mr Killett is positive it is only a matter of time before operations begin.

He said: “We have to meet a number of ‘pre-start’ planning conditions and there are quite detailed surveys and contracts which have to be considered.

“We had hoped to start work in March, but approval in some areas such as ecology and landscaping are still outstanding.

“We still aim to begin work as soon as possible, hopefully before the end of the year.”

BGL’s plans were initially challenged by Welsh historic monuments agency Cadw, which asked for the spoil heap to be preserved as one of the few remaining of its kind. Wrexham Council also blocked the move.

Lawrence Isted, the council’s head of community wellbeing and development, said: “Wrexham Council originally objected to this application because the loss of the tip would compromise the setting of the colliery buildings, which are listed, on the site.

“The Assembly Government overturned this decision on appeal, subject to a number of planning conditions and a legal agreement which requires a financial contribution for the repair of the winding gear engine house and towards a museum and part of its running costs.

“We are now working with the company to discharge those planning conditions.”

The company has renewed its pledge to abide by these conditions.

See full story in the Leader

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