ANGRY residents yesterday told council chiefs their community would be destroyed if a landmark block of flats are demolished.
Wrexham County Borough Council chiefs face a repair bill of up to £17.5m to bring the Hightown flats up to scratch.
But if they decide after a three-month consultation with residents they cannot afford the cost then the massive block may have to be demolished.
It means residents, some who have lived there for 30 years or more, will have to look for a new home at a time when council chiefs admit pressures on social housing are growing.
Currently there are 181 units.
But after surveys showed the flats were in need of repairs and structural strengthening to bring them up to today’s standards – 59 of them have not been relet until their future is decided.
To carry out full £17.5m repairs would cost the equivalent of £90,000 per flat.
The council’s budget for a year for its housing stock is currently £12.5m.
At a meeting yesterday council chiefs said the Welsh Assembly had told them there was no extra cash available.
They would have to look for other funding streams to carry out the work.
Jason Cambridge, 38, who has lived there for 12 years said: “The worry is not knowing the timescale and where we will end up.
“If they do decide to demolish – will we be allowed to move back if a housing association takes over?”
He added: “The Welsh Assembly will spend money say on renovating the Wrexham museum.
“But when it comes to people’s homes, they don’t want to know.”
Elizabeth Davies, who has lived there for 30 years said: “We have a wonderful community spirit there, the things that we organise and put on – there are summer parties, we have breakfast parties, Christmas parties, there is always stuff for the kids to do.
“It would be the destruction of a community.”
Michelle Austin, 36, has lived there for nine years.
She said: “I am from out of town, but this is where my home is.”
Residents said if the blocks were demolished they would want to come back and try and rebuild the community spirit.
Five options were on the table yesterday from doing nothing, minimal repairs to a full overhaul or demolition.
Council officers were keen to stress no decisions have yet been taken and they were keen to get all residents views.
Coun Mike Morris said the only realistic options were major repairs or demolition
And he insisted the council had to be as open as possible with residents
He said: “We don’t want to build people’s hopes up on things we can’t deliver.”