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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Skates campaigns over future of eyesore site

An AM wants to help bring a town centre ‘eyesore’ back into use.

Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates was contacted for help over run-down Commerce House, on the A5 in the centre of Corwen, by local councillor Huw Jones.

The pair would like to see the Grade II-listed premises – which is privately owned and up for sale – developed for social housing, and Mr Skates has contacted Denbighshire County Council chief executive Dr Mohammed Mehmet to raise the issue.

“This building has been on Denbighshire’s list of eyesore sites for some time, it’s a real shame and I know Huw and Dr Mehmet share my frustration,” said Mr Skates.

In his response to Mr Skates, Dr Mehmet said it had ‘proved particularly difficult’ to find a solution to Commerce House, which he said is in ‘an extremely difficult state’. The council has contacted heritage watchdog Cadw to try and get the building’s listed status removed, which could make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Mr Skates said: “Because of huge cuts to Wales from the UK Government, the council cannot afford to buy the building outright and pay for the extensive work that needs doing. Social landlords have been approached about the viability of a housing scheme to address local need, and this is an option I’d like to see pursued for local people.

“I have offered my full support to Denbighshire County Council to get this matter resolved. Dr Mehmet has said the authority would provide as much support as possible should the right private sector investor comes forward with redevelopment or refurbishment proposals, so I hope this is another avenue which can be explored.”

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