North East Wales

Under-threat Wrexham Grove School building's listing revoked

Banner outside Groves High School Image copyright Marcus Jones

A derelict former school, handed a reprieve after it was given protection to prevent it being demolished, could be under threat again.

The Welsh Government gave Wrexham's Groves Park School Grade II-listed status after an appeal by campaigners who wanted it preserved.

But Wrexham council challenged the decision in the High Court.

The authority wants to clear the site to make way for a new school.

Image copyright Marcus Jones

The school closed in 2003 following a shake-up of secondary school education and Wrexham councillors agreed the building should be demolished.

But campaigners called for it to be listed, claiming it is of architectural interest, in the hope that consent would then be needed to knock down or alter the site.

On Monday, the council said Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, had agreed to a High Court order quashing his decision to list the building on the basis he failed to provide adequate reasons.

Wrexham council leader Mark Pritchard said he was pleased by the decision.

"I can confirm also that the council agreed that it will not carry out any works which may affect the former school's architectural or historic interest until after 30 November 2016 giving the cabinet secretary (Ken Skates) a reasonable opportunity to reconsider the application to list the Groves," he said.

"I hope that any new decision will be made promptly and will reflect the consensus of expert opinion, which has very clearly indicated that the building does not meet the Welsh Government published criteria for listing.

"If, at the end of that time, it is not relisted for adequate reasons, the council will be free to decide the future of the building in its unlisted state."

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