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Monday, July 16, 2012

How long must we tolerate these eyesores?

* Derelict ... the River Lodge on the A539.

* Grisly welcome ... the disused factory on the A5.

* Empty ... the former garage on Market Street.

Today llanblogger asks how long the town must continue to be blighted by empty and derelict buildings.

Both main approaches to Llan have such eyesores – the tumbledown River Lodge on the A539 and the old disused factory which looms above Berwyn Street on the A5.

Readers of llanblogger will recall that one of our first stories last week told the sorry saga of the River Lodge which has been lying empty for the past few years , since a deal to develop into a community centre between its owner the Welsh Government and the Powys Fadog organisation went disastrously wrong.

As we exclusively revealed, at their meeting last Tuesday members of the Welsh Assembly’s public accounts committee expressed their dissatisfaction at the way the deal had been handled by government bureaucrats and chairman, Darren Millar AM, said the investigation into what went so badly wrong would continue.

Meanwhile, the building – in its heyday a popular motel and nightclub – continues to rot after a series of attacks by the wreckers and metal thieves left it in a shocking state.

What visitors heading in that way must think of having this rotting hulk as their introduction to our town is anyone’s guess.

During the committee’s deliberations last week a senior official revealed that negotiations are going ahead between the government and the local health authority, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, with a view to them taking it over.

It is highly unlikely the present building will survive and most likely it will be demolished, possibly to make way for some sort of new health facility.

By their very nature such discussions can be long winded and may ultimately be unproductive.

So in the meantime can we expect the building’s shameful deterioration to continue until it reduced to an historic ruin?

But then perhaps the government is looking to create another Castell Dinas Bran?

On the other side of the river, the old derelict factory opposite the park provides a grisly welcome to people driving into town from the Corwen direction.

This has been empty for the past 20 years at least, so isn’t it time something was done to either transform it into something worthwhile or tear it down and develop the site?

Another eyesore badly in need of attention – this time close to the heart of the town – is the former garage on Market Street, which again has lain empty and waterlogged for many years.

Many are asking how a town which survives on tourism can tolerate such dereliction for so long.

It would be nice to have the views of our elected representatives – on the town or county council – on this issue.

Naturally, llanblogger will provide them with a forum to air their views.

All they have to do is contact us by email at

Other readers’ views are also very welcome.

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