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Breathing new life into historic hospital site will provide £75m boost to local economy

The redevelopment of the historic North Wales Hospital site in Denbigh will provide 300 new homes and a £75 million boost to the local economy.

It will also reclaim and restore the central section of the magnificent Victorian Grade Two star listed building which opened in 1848 and which was at the heart of a complex which at one time housed 1,500 patients and employed 700 staff.

Developers Jones Bros, of Ruthin, have begun a Pre-application Communication Consultation ahead of submitting a planning application to Denbighshire County Council for the first phase of the redevelopment of the site which has been derelict and a magnet for vandals since the hospital closed in 1995.

The intention is for the U-shaped central section with its impressive façade to be restored and turned into residential apartments complemented by a mix of services which could include shops, restaurants and a gym for local residents.

There will be a public consultation opportunity at Denbigh Library on Monday, December 2, from 1pm to 7pm when copies of the plans will be available for inspection and senior representatives from Jones Bros will be available.

The development of the site is expected to take 10 years and to start with a clearing operation which will include the safe removal of asbestos and the restoration of the 36-acre site’s attractive woods and parkland.

Helen Morgan, of Jones Bros, who is overseeing the project, said: “We have worked closely with Denbighshire County Council on the redevelopment of the site which has important and historic connections with the town of Denbigh and the wider Vale of Clwyd.

“It is our intention to create a development that is sympathetic to the area and that restores the vital links between this historic site and the town.

“We estimate the project will inject £75 million into the local economy and create jobs on the site and in the wider economy as well as creating high quality housing which will blend into the environment.

“Jones Bros is a long-established family company with its roots in the Vale of Clwyd and the majority of our workforce are from the area and this development affirms our commitment to the region.”

Jones Bros have begun work on a new, purpose-built training centre on the Hospital site which will employ 20 people and which will replace their existing training centre in Ruthin.

Around 60 apprentices a year will be trained there for accredited qualifications in construction and plant operation, while the company’s 340 staff will receive training to update their skills.

The company estimate that the shops and facilities on the site will provide up to 40 additional full and part-time jobs.

The development will also include modern utilities and service links including fast digital infrastructure will be installed which is necessary to the economy and quality of life of a modern nation.

Graham Boase, Corporate Director for the Economy said: “Part of the Council’s long term vision for the site has been to secure a Compulsory Purchase Order, so that the land is transferred from the off-shore company based in the British Virgin Isles to a developer who is committed to regenerating the site through a quality development that secures the future of the main listed building while bringing longer term economic benefits to the town of Denbigh and the wider area.

“We have been successful in secured the compulsory purchase of the site, which is now owned by the Council.

“After a tendering process to secure an appropriate developer, senior individuals in the Council, led by myself and the Leader, have been working with Jones Bros who currently occupy the site under license to explore how the site may best be regenerated.

“I’m delighted that Jones Bros have now got to the stage where they are able to progress to the formal pre-planning consultation stage, seeking the views of the public and other bodies on their proposals.

“Any planning application that is submitted by Jones Bros following this consultation exercise will be subject to a full public consultation exercise and any decision will be made at a future Planning Committee meeting.”

Helen Morgan added: “The redevelopment of the site is in line with Denbighshire County Council’s key priority to ensure access to good quality housing and with its Housing Strategy.

“The proposed 300 new houses will be built over a period of ten years and released so as not to flood the market while ensuring that there is controlled sustainable growth in the community.

“The county has a shortage of new homes, especially for younger people and families and this development will go some way to addressing that while also restoring an important part of Denbigh’s heritage as part of a landmark development.”