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Developer lodges application for historic hospital site

A plan to breathe new life into the long derelict North Wales Hospital site in Denbigh has reached an important milestone.

After a successful consultation period, the planning application has been submitted to Denbighshire County Council to redevelop the site by building 300 new homes as well as facilities for local businesses, shops and leisure activities.

This will enable the restoration and conversion of the magnificent central section of the Grade Two Star-listed former psychiatric hospital as part of a 10 year project.

If granted the ambitious scheme will provide a £75 million boost to the local economy and create 1,200 jobs.

The month-long consultation carried out by Jones Bros met with overwhelming support from local residents with the main concerns raised centring on traffic during the initial stages of the development.

Jones Bros apprentices at the North Wales Hospital site where the company’s new training centre has been built, from left, Daniel Hignett, Owen Roberts, Gareth Hughes and Ben Jackson.

The developers have promised action to alleviate any issues and Helen Morgan, who heads up the project for Jones Bros, said: “The feedback we received during the consultation was very positive with huge support for the scheme.

“Some respondents were concerned about issues with traffic which is understandable but we feel our experience with major infrastructure projects across the UK makes us well qualified to handle this in a sensitive and efficient manner.

“We fully recognise the significance of the hospital to generations of local people and will continue to work closely with Denbighshire County Council to ensure the development of the site recognises its important and historic connections with Denbigh and the Vale of Clwyd.

“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 much-needed high quality housing which will blend into the environment.”

The aim of the scheme will be preserve the magnificent 19th century façade of the original hospital which opened in 1848 with that central U-shaped section restored and turned into residential apartments.

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These will be complemented by a mix of services which could include shops, restaurants and a gym while elsewhere on the site they plan to build homes styled on traditional Denbigh and Vale of Clwyd houses and terraced cottages and possibly include a shop, a pub and even a brand new, purpose-built ground for Denbigh Cricket Club.

Jones Bros have already had approval for a new, temporary purpose-built training centre on the Hospital site which will employ 20 people.

Work has already started on the centre which will train around 30 apprentices a year 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 commercial facilities on the site could provide up to 40 additional full and part-time jobs.

Helen Morgan added: “This project has a special significance for us because we are based here in the Vale of Clwyd and the majority of our employees live locally.

“We are proud of our association with Denbighshire and excited to be involved in a scheme that we believe can be a landmark development for Wales and provide a multi-million pound boost to the Denbighshire economy.”

The North Wales Hospital opened in 1848 to provide care for Welsh speaking people suffering from mental illnesses and by the 1950s it housed over 1500 patients and was the major employer in the town.

It was scheduled for closure in 1987 and the last patient left in 1995 since when the abandoned site has fallen into a serious state of disrepair, ravaged by vandals and arsonists.

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