NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 6th, 2019.
Demolition work has got underway this week on an arson-hit social club in Connah’s Quay.
Manchester-based demolition specialists J.Freeley has moved onto the site to begin work which will see the Albion Club on Church Hill levelled and replaced by 30 apartments.
Proposals to create an affordable development for over 55s on the land had previously been deferred.
Flintshire Council’s planning committee put the scheme on last December because of concerns over the design and the impact the new building would have on the privacy of neighbours.
Nearby residents raised issues around the lack of parking included in the plans and said it would clash with the Grade II listed St Mark’s Church.
[Architects image of the new development]
During a planning meeting, councillors decided to ask the Design Commission for Wales for a second opinion on the application.
However, its chief executive agreed with council officers that the proposals should be given the green light.
The current building has been plagued by anti-social behaviour in recent years, including a deliberate fire in August 2017.
An application to build 33 apartments on the site was approved in 2016, but the company behind the previous scheme went into liquidation.
Among those who spoke strongly against the new plans was Cllr Patrick Heesom who said the developers should be ‘shown the door’.
He said: “There is absolutely no doubt that the clash between what is being proposed here and the character of that area is very significant.
“A lot of this stuff is not just opinion. The fact of the matter is what makes good design is measurable.
“They’ve shown no acknowledgement of the area in which it’s located, it’s just like a slab mausoleum for goodness sake.
“We’ll be regretting it until the day we’re kicking the bucket if we have to accept that thing.”
Councillors finally approved the proposals in February.