Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Let the people decide on town centre changes

A Freedom of Information request by Plaid Wrecsam has revealed the council has plans to demolish the Memorial Hall as part of its masterplan to re-organise the Bodhyfryd part of town, which currently houses the police station, courts, Waterworld and Crown Buildings.
 Wrexham.com report that the police tower block will be demolished within two years and that will mean the courts will move, due to the need for custody suites.
 The FOI also shows that the council's consultants recommend that Waterworld is closed and replaced with another leisure facility on the Crown Buildings site.
 This leaves a huge open space in the town centre with easy access to the ring road. It is also opposite another prime site, the old Groves school, which has needed re-developing for the past decade.
 What does the council intend to do with this blank canvas? The council faces some limitations with regard to the Groves school due to covenants limiting future use for education and there seems to be a commitment to retain the original school building by converting it to apartments, but nothing else is set in stone.
 Given the council's abysmal track record of listening to local opinion on matters of importance, now is the time that the public should start to demand a say in how our town centre is re-developed. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that should not be missed. Town centres are rapidly changing due to online shopping and out-of-town shopping centres such as Cheshire Oaks. 
 Bodhyfryd (which translates as "beautiful place") is a wonderful opportunity - if handled imaginatively - to regenerate our town centre. 
 In the past, the council has relied on outside consultants. All too often these consultants will take an idea from another town (which explains why we've got so many identikit town centres) and superimpose it on Wrecsam, regardless of whether it works.
 How about we do things differently this time round? How about we ask the imaginative and creative people of our county borough to come up with their own plan? Let's use the creative skills we have in terms of architects, planners, engineers, dreamers and schemers to come up with something innovative and unique that will make people proud once again to say "This is Wrecsam".
 Over to you...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Why not repeat it on the Leader Website or Wrexham.com to pull in some opinions..?