Wales

Call to use Ruthin school site for community not commuters

Former school site in Rhos Street, Ruthin Image copyright LDRS
Image caption The site became vacant when the schools relocated last year

A council's pitch to sell two old schools has been criticised for promoting the site as an ideal location for commuter homes.

Denbighshire County Council highlighted the proximity of the Rhos Street site in Ruthin to Liverpool and Chester.

Councillors for the town have called for the site to be kept for community use, such as an elderly care home.

Council bosses have said residents will be kept "fully informed" about plans for the site.

The 1.3 acre (0.5 hectares) site in the centre of Ruthin became vacant when Rhos Street School and the Welsh medium Ysgol Pen Barras relocated last year.

A marketing document said the site would "suit a variety of alternative uses such as residential conversion/development".

Robat Idris, from Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, condemned the wording, saying: "Properties should be built for the benefit of local communities, not to maximise profit."

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "It speaks volumes that the document doesn't note the distance to towns and areas to the west."

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption The schools occupied a prime site in the centre of Ruthin

Emrys Wynne, a Plaid Cymru county councillor for Ruthin, claimed the site would be an ideal location for an elderly care home for local residents.

Ruthin town councillor Anne Roberts welcomed the move to sell the property but added: "I would like to see it have a community use and not go to a developer for housing or the like."

Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Denbighshire's cabinet member for education who also represents the town, said: "The school buildings have been put up for sale on the open market.

"The middle part of the site will go to the [Ruthin community] hospital for much-needed parking and to secure its future, which leaves the old playing fields.

"There will be no decision on what will happen to the old playing fields until there has been a public consultation."

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