Ukrainian refugees offered new homes at crumbling Grafton Mall 

The Liberal Democrats have raised concerns over dangerous concrete in a site in Atrincham currently being considered for housing Ukrainian refugees.

The closure of more than 100 schools at the beginning of term left many worried about which other buildings contain Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC). 

In response to a Liberal Democrat request a briefing document was provided by bosses at Trafford council, which revealed the Grafton Mall site in Altrincham presents a hazard relating to RAAC.

The Labour-Controlled Executive committee insists that these units are empty and closed off to the public.

However, further investigation found that the committee was hoping to pass through legislation to use the site to host Ukrainian and Afghan refugees. 

Timperley Councillor Meena Minnis said: “The Lib Dems are worried nobody has joined the dots here. On the one hand the Council says some unused parts of Grafton Mall contain RAAC that need replacing.

“On the other hand, the Council is thinking of housing Ukrainians in one of the unoccupied units. We want assurances there is no risk.

“The Liberal Democrats have written to chief officers at the council requesting further information about the state of the concrete at Grafton Mall.

“We will scrutinise this situation closely, when Trafford Labour takes this decision next week.” 

Trafford Council purchased Grafton Mall in 2018 for £10.84 million using borrowed money under the council’s investment strategy, despite knowledge of RAAC for more than 20 years.

The site has required £400,000 in council funds to cover maintenance and management last year alone. With more repairs on the way, questions have arisen around whether the project remains a worthwhile investment. 

Main image taken from Google Streetview

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