Multi-million pound plans to redevelop the long derelict North Wales Hospital site in Denbigh are to be considered by Denbighshire planners next week (Wednesday, September 8).
Vale of Clwyd-based Jones Bros want to build 300 new homes and facilities for local businesses, shops and leisure facilities, including a new home for the town’s cricket club, on the 50.6-acre site.
Their 10-year project will also restore and convert the magnificent central section of the Grade Two Star-listed former psychiatric hospital which was opened in 1848 and which cared for thousands of patients until its closure in 1995.
Since then it has steadily fallen into disrepair and ruin as inaction by previous owners and arson attacks and vandalism have made the site ever more dangerous.
The plans submitted by Jones Bros will be considered at Denbighshire County Council’s Planning Committee meeting next Wednesday, September 8, with a recommendation that they be approved.
The company has worked with the council to draw up an ambitious scheme of restoration and regeneration for the site.
The scheme is seen as the last chance to save the central core of the hospital where generations of local people worked for almost 150 years.
If planning permission is granted the project is expected to also provide a £75 million boost to the local economy and 1,200 jobs.
Jones Bros, a civil engineering company with headquarters in Ruthin and which operates across the UK, has already built its new training centre on the site.
The centre employs 20 staff and trains 30 apprentices annually in accredited qualifications in construction and plant operation and also provides training for the company’s 340 staff to update their skills.
Jones Bros has carried out extensive consultations and an open event at Denbigh Library last year met with overwhelming support from local residents.
Helen Morgan, who heads up the project for Jones Bros, said: “It has been very important for us that the renovation of the Hospital site provides a legacy for what was an integral part of Denbigh and its history.
“As a company we are based here in the Vale of Clwyd in the heart of Denbighshire and the majority of our employees live here so it is hugely important to us that this project is successful.
“We are 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 feedback we received during the consultation was very positive with huge support for the scheme and we have continued 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 centrepiece of the scheme will preserve the central U-shaped section of the magnificent 19th century hospital with the section restored and turned into residential apartments.
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 possibly include a shop, a pub and a brand new, purpose-built ground for Denbigh Cricket Club.
The company estimate that the commercial facilities on the site could provide up to 40 additional full and part-time jobs.
The North Wales Hospital opened in 1848 to provide care for Welsh-speaking people suffering from mental illness and by the 1950s it housed over 1500 patients and was the major employer in the town but in 1987 it was scheduled for closure and the last patient left in 1995.