North East Wales

Wrexham Grove Park school's listed status reinstated

Grove Park school Image copyright Marcus Jones

A High Court decision to strip a former school of its Grade-II listed status so it could be demolished has been reversed by the Welsh Government.

Wrexham's Grove Park School was listed in August after an appeal by campaigners who wanted it preserved.

But Wrexham council, which wants to clear the site for a new school, won a High Court challenge.

Now, the building has been relisted on the grounds of "special architectural interest".

The council, which wants to build a new school, said it was "very disappointed".

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

On November 21, Economy Secretary Ken Skates agreed to a High Court order to quash the listing on the basis he failed to provide adequate reasons.

The Welsh Government was then asked to reconsider a fresh listing application by 30 November.

Image copyright Marcus Jones

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "The cabinet secretary for finance and local government has been asked to decide whether or not to list the former Grove Park School, Wrexham as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

"His decision is to list the building, with its historical dimension, on the ground of its special architectural interest due to its aesthetic visual quality, craftsmanship and decorative detail."

Elaine Guntrip-Thomas, chairwoman of Wrexham's Save Our Heritage group, said the group "knew the worth of the building all along".

She added: "We believe that we have been vindicated in our decision to campaign to save this important building.

"The next step will be to ensure the building is used to educate future generations."

Wrexham council leader Mark Pritchard said: "We are very disappointed with this decision and will take legal advice on the way forward.

"I can assure everyone that the council remains committed to providing 21st-Century education in Wrexham on this site and this decision will not detract from our commitment."

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