Grove Park: Demolition-threatened site set for two schools

Image source, Marcus Jones

Two schools could be built on the site of another building saved from demolition after a high court battle.

Wrexham council wanted to knock down Grove Park High School to make way for a modern facility, despite protests.

The High Court cleared the way by stripping it of its Grade II-listed status but this decision was reversed by the Welsh Government.

Council leader Mark Pritchard said while it would not be demolished, a plan will outline how to use the site.

More details are expected to be revealed when the council's executive board meets in September to discuss a strategic plan for school improvements.

The saga began in 2003 when Grove Park closed, with councillors agreeing it should be demolished and the site redeveloped.

However, before bulldozers moved in, it was listed by the Welsh Government in August 2016.

Image source, Coleg Cambria
Image caption, Coleg Cambria unveiled plans for the former Grove Park High School in 2014

This decision was overturned by the High Court before the Welsh Government reversed it again in November 2016 on the grounds of special architectural interest.

Despite this, Mr Pritchard said the local authority's plans for the site "have not changed" and they want to use it to "increase provision for education in the town centre to meet demand".

Lead member for education Phil Wyn said the cost of keeping the empty building meant it was "crucial" its future use was known as soon as possible.

"Finding a sustainable use for the Groves school comes with a raft of challenges," he said.

"But with the good will of all interested parties I am hopeful that the costs involved with mothballing the Groves will no longer be a topic of discussion."

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