A SOCIAL media spat has erupted over the future of a listed former Wrexham grammar school.

It comes as Wrexham Council has finally chosen a date to discuss the future of the Groves School building in the town centre, which was awarded Grade II listed status by Cadw back in 2016 following a battle by local campaigners.

News of the meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, September 26, was shared by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas on Twitter as he described the authority’s decision not to consult with the public on its future use as ‘inexcusable’.

However, his comments were greeted with anger by former council legal officer Trevor Coxon, who was involved in a court bid to quash the listing as executive board members looked to demolish the former girls’ school.

Mr Coxon, who retired at the end of March, said: “Scandalous waste of money. “If local AMs had not abused the listing system for a building of clearly no architectural merit, the site could have been used for some useful purpose years ago.

“The current mess is entirely as a result of misplaced affection for a derelict eyesore.”

Mr Lucas replied: “I believe in full disclosure. This is the former solicitor for the council, who retired last year and was intimately involved in council actions to date.

“Which I really think you should make clear, Trevor. Especially when you make groundless allegations.”

In response Mr Coxon said: “Yes I was indeed the solicitor who successfully challenged the initial listing in the High Court.

“There was and is no planning justification to list the Groves. A case of big government flexing its muscles.”

Mr Coxon, who was the council’s head of corporate and customer services, also questioned whether plans by Coleg Cambria to undertake a multi-million pound development of the site had been serious.

The further and higher education college had intended to incorporate the school into its Yale campus, but the authority chose to keep it in order to meet growing pupil numbers.

Mr Lucas has now said he is “surprised and disappointed” by Mr Coxon’s comments.

He said: “I think it’s really inappropriate for him to do that as he’s making quite serious allegations against Assembly Members.

“The conduct of this matter by the council has been incompetent at various stages and what’s most extraordinary is at no stage have they actually consulted the people of Wrexham on what’s going to happen to the site.

“Therefore to be blaming other organisations like Coleg Cambria seems quite extraordinary.

“It was the council that terminated that arrangement and they still haven’t brought forward their own proposals.

“I would like to see Glyndwr, Coleg Cambria and the council come together and propose a use for the site, after consulting the people of Wrexham.

“There is huge demand for educational use of land in Wrexham and we need the council to start acting competently.”

A report on the school’s future is due to be presented by Wrexham Council leader Mark Pritchard at a meeting of the customers, performance, resources and governance scrutiny committee in September.

The agenda states that the expected outcome is for the building to be protected and reopened for learning.

Although it does not make the exact plans clear, councillors are expected to be asked for their input.

Calls were made by one councillor last month for it to be turned into a training centre for doctors and nurses.