Bulldozers move in on 'unpopular' council homes in Wrexham's Plas Madoc

Reporter:

Steve Craddock

PROPERTIES on a council estate have been demolished as part of a modernisation project.

Twenty-two council-owned properties in the Peris and Gwynant areas of Plas Madoc have been dismantled and the ground beneath them has been levelled ready for potential new developments.

The demolition marks the beginning of a project which could see all sorts of improvements carried out on the estate.

This could include more parking spaces for existing tenants, redesigned public spaces, extended gardens for existing homes and new build housing.

There are 400 steel-framed ‘cubbitt’ houses on the estate that are due to receive reroofing work and external wall insulation as part of the project.

Work on some properties is already under way.

The external wall insulation is designed to improve the energy efficiency of properties such as the steel-framed houses at Plas Madoc.

Tenants will hopefully see savings on their heating bills as a result.

All the improvements will help ensure the Welsh Government’s Welsh Housing Quality Standard is achieved by 2020.

Plas Madoc councillor Paul Blackwell, said: “I’m delighted to see that improvement work on the estate has now started.

“The properties we’ve demolished had become unpopular and difficult to let, partly because they were in an area of the estate where many houses had been built very close together.

“The demolition has opened up whole new spaces on the estate and it’s quite amazing to see how different it looks now.”

He added: “There is a bit more room to breathe for the existing tenants in those areas and it also means we can now proceed with other improvement works planned for the estate.

“Work on this scale inevitably presents a few challenges but I am pleased to say the demolition work has gone very well and the next stage of the project – installing external wall insulation – is now under way.

“As well as the energy efficiency and structural benefits, installing external wall insulation will also transform the look of the estate and help make it fit for the future.

“We’ve already carried out a number of consultation exercises with local tenants and residents, including information events at the local leisure centre. We’ll continue to ensure we engage with the local community as work progresses.”

A total of £56.4 million  is being invested housing improvement work across Wrexham in 2017-18.

This includes a £7.5m major repairs allowance grant, which the Welsh Government awards to local authorities to help them achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

Council-owned homes are receiving improvements such as new kitchens and bathrooms, central heating systems and electrical rewires, if required to meet the new standard.

External improvements including to roofs, garden paths, fences and walls are also being carried out, where required.

Cllr David Griffiths, lead member for housing, said: “It’s a very positive and exciting time for social housing in Wrexham. We manage more than 11,000 properties of all sorts of shapes, ages and sizes so a project of this size was always going to present a few challenges and hurdles to overcome – but I’m pleased to say we are on track to meet the standard.

“We’ve carried out an enormous amount of work already on thousands of properties across the county borough.

“It’s about ensuring that all our tenants are able to live in properties which are modern, efficient, comfortable, safe and fit for the future and we will continue to do our utmost to ensure the quality of the work remains high across the board.”

Email:

steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk

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