Wales

Conwy council spends £636,000 renting unused building

Mochdre Commerce Park buildings
Image caption Standing empty... the council signed a deal to use a building at Mochdre Commerce Park three years ago

More than £600,000 has been spent by a council renting an empty building that needs fixing after signing a 35-year lease.

Conwy council agreed a deal in 2016 to store gritters and bin lorries at Mochdre Commerce Park, near Colwyn Bay.

But it found the floor was not strong enough while fitting out the unit.

The council reached an agreement to stop paying rent in 2018 while it negotiated with the landlord to resolve the problems but that period has ended.

The authority is now once again paying rent with the cost now standing at £636,418. 

'Even tests difficult'

Experts who worked on the London Crossrail project have been brought in to check the foundations using seismic surveys.

The council said the main issue was whether the building's foundations were strong enough for the floor to be upgraded.

"It has taken some time to bring in the right experts and the tests themselves have been difficult to undertake," said Jane Richardson, the council's strategic director.

"Once we have this information we will be in a much better position to know how we can best proceed."

The council has been paying legal bills as part of its efforts to resolve the situation and it has also secured a refund on the business rates.

"It is important to note that the property was sold after the council signed the lease so the current landlord inherited this situation," said Ms Richardson.

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