North East Wales

Wrexham council abandons bid to flatten Grove Park School

Grove Park school Image copyright Marcus Jones

Wrexham council has given up its bid to demolish a former high school building at the centre of a legal challenge.

The Welsh Government reversed a decision by the High Court to strip Grove Park School of its Grade-II listed status in November.

On Tuesday, the council said it would not try to appeal the latest decision.

Last January, it agreed to demolish the red brick building which closed in 2003 and has since fallen into disrepair, prompting a campaign to save it.

In August, it was given official protection due to special architectural interest, prompting the authority's legal challenge.

Council leader Mark Pritchard said he was "bitterly disappointed" but the decision had been taken following legal advice.

Image copyright Marcus Jones

He added: "We have said throughout the discussion over the future of the Groves that we are committed to the delivery of education on the site - but have also noted that this building, as it stands, is ill-suited to the needs of modern, 21st Century primary school education.

"It is now difficult to see what beneficial use this building can be put to in its listed state.

"Having said this, I will now be pressing for early discussions with Welsh ministers to identify what support, including financial provision, they will be offering to the council both to carry out a full feasibility study to assess and cost the works necessary to give this building a meaningful, beneficial use for the future and to carry out the execution of such works."

Campaign group Save Our Heritage chairwoman Elaine Guntrip-Thomas said: "Nothing has changed for us.

"Our vision for the building has always been to see it used for education once again. We firmly believe that with proper refurbishment, the school can be made fit for purpose."

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