These derelict buildings stand within a few yards of each other on the Rhosddu Road near Wrexham town centre. The first is in the process of being brought back into use by the local council after being empty for years. The old printworks (with the scaffolding) has had planning permission for six flats for the best part of a decade while the handsome stone building is a derelict council property lying idle.
They are typical of the many thousands of houses and derelict buildings that should be brought back into productive use in our borough, especially in light of the huge pressure to build on greenfield sites by developers.
Thousands of empty houses in Wrexham should be turned into homes rather than allowing new developments on greenfield sites, according to Plaid Cymru’s Carrie Harper.
Cllr Harper, who is Plaid Cymru’s Assembly candidate for Wrexham, said: “We asked the council for information on the number of empty homes in Wrexham and the numbers are quite staggering.
“There are 2,501 empty houses in the borough. Of those 1,191 are long-term empty and a further 1,310 are short-term. There are a further 400 properties lying empty that pay non-domestic rates, including derelict council buildings.
“It seems crazy that, at a time when large-scale housing estates are being pushed on greenfield sites, that all these houses are lying idle. We have thousands of people on waiting lists for housing yet these figures reveal that almost every community has dozens of empty houses and derelict buildings.”
She said the council was working to bring some homes back into use but that it could be painfully slow.
Cllr Harper added: “There are Government schemes that have brought empty houses back into homes for people but we need to speed that process up. We also need to look at derelict buildings that could be converted into housing in our communities.
“Otherwise we’re going to see thousands of houses built on greenfield sites for the benefit of developers rather than local communities. I’m sure we all know of houses in streets nearby that have been empty for far too long. Rather than trashing our countryside, lets’s get these back into use.”
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