- Posted by: Ken Skates MS
- Category: News
Discussions are ongoing to end a 15-year blight on a community.
‘Eyesore’ houses off High Street in the middle of Ruabon have been the subject of a lengthy legal wrangle since a company built them in 2000 and left them empty.
Cllr Dana Davies said: “I remember when this was first brought in front of the community council all those years ago. After being asked about it recently, I want to reassure residents that this remains a priority and I am still exploring every avenue possible to get it resolved.
“The county council has tried to force the sale of the properties so they can be put to good use, for example for social housing, but we have been told we need to work with the owners, who are based overseas.
“These properties have been an eyesore for years, but thanks to Welsh Government funding we have been able to pursue a number of legal avenues and are convinced a solution can be found. Ruabon Community Council is also continuing to push for a solution.”
Earlier this year Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates asked Wrexham Council to clarify what is being done to resolve the long-running saga.
The Labour AM said: “Dana is one of a number of people who has been trying to get this sorted for many years, but unfortunately it seems it’s far from straightforward. I’d like to see something done as much as anyone.”
In its response to Mr Skates, Wrexham Council said: “The council are aware of concerns raised by the community council, councillor Dana Davies and a number of individuals about the properties on the former Victoria Garage site, High Street, Ruabon.
“The company who owns the properties, Saudi Investment Company Ltd, were suspended by Her Majesty’s Greffier (Guernsey) in 2006 as a result of failing to file their annual accounts. It is believed that responsibility for the properties may lie with the Crown as a result of the company no longer operating. A recent attempt to work with Treasury solicitors to enable the property to be sold to a Registered Social Landlord for affordable housing was unsuccessful due to uncertainty about the legal status of the company.”
Mr Skates said further investigations are taking place, including into the legal implications of the owners being registered in Guernsey, which has different laws governing insolvency.
The council added: “If it is found that the properties do lie with the Crown, unfortunately it is unlikely that Wrexham County Borough Council would be in a position to carry out any enforcement action including a Compulsory Purchase Order due to the properties benefiting from Crown immunity. In this instance, the council will attempt to work with Treasury solicitors to find a solution to the continued issues with the properties.”