RESIDENTS of Caia Park are celebrating a landmark victory after magistrates approved an order to allow the long-awaited closure of 22 alleyways.
The Stopping Up Order is the first of its kind to be granted in Wales, and gives permission for highways to be blocked off, enabling alley gates to be erected in Caia Park.
Gary Jones, co-ordinator of Caia Park Communities First said: 'This is a landmark achievement, not only for Caia Park but for the whole of Wales.'
It was decided that several alleyways in the area would be sealed off because residents had been plagued by anti-social behaviour and felt unsafe in their own homes.
Alley gates and brick walls have already been put in place in Coed Aben, Gwenfro, Y Wern, Queensway, Cefn Dre and Pentre Gwyn. It was originally thought that the alleys were on housing land, but after investigation from the council's Legal department they found that the land belonged to the Highways department. As a result the case was forced to go to court, but magistrates later granted the Stopping Up order, for the 13 existing alley gates and nine new ones.
Wrexham County Borough Council, Caia Park Communities First, the ward members and MP Ian Lucas worked together closely on the project.
Other organisations have also fully supported the scheme, including North Wales Police, Caia Park Community Council and all the emergency services and utility companies.
Similar measures are planned for the Plas Madoc and Broughton areas in Wrexham, and the court's decision was eagerly awaited throughout Wales.
Caia Park resident and Communities First chair Chris Thomas was at court when the decision was announced
'It is excellent news,' he said. 'I've actually got an alley gate outside my house, and it's made so much difference. The alleys were like a rabbit warren for people running away from the police.
'The court has recognised that the gates will make a big difference.'