A historic milestone has been reached in the history of the former North Wales Hospital in Denbigh, with Denbighshire County Council now officially the owners of the site.
The Council had served a General Vested Declaration, a legal document on the owners of the site, Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd and a ‘stand-still ‘ legal period of 28 days has now come to an end without any legal challenge, which means that the site’s freehold has now been transferred to the Council.
In April of this year, Denbighshire firm Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK (in partnership with the North Wales Building Preservation Trust), were selected as preferred developers to take ownership of the site.
Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, based in Ruthin, is a leading civil engineering company and has a strong, proven track record for major projects across the UK. They are proposing a predominantly housing led redevelopment on the site.
Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “This is such a historic occasion and we are delighted that the years of hard work, determination and commitment to protecting this historic listed building has reached this momentous point.
“The Council has pulled out the stops from day one, investing its own funds to carry out essential maintenance work. The process has been lengthy and drawn out and the Council has faced challenges from the owners at every step of the way. This has been infuriating and we have been extremely frustrated that this issue was not concluded earlier.
“However we have persevered, such was the commitment to protect the site from further deterioration.
“I would like to recognise the commitment and hard work of the Council’s staff past and present, as well as councillors who have been involved. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty and have acted professionally, with integrity and transparency over the years to bring this matter to a conclusion.
“We would also like to thank the local community for their patience, co-operation and understanding.
“We fully recognise the importance of the site to local people and we want to ensure that the development of the site provides the most important listed buildings with a sustainable future whilst benefiting both the economy and local community in terms of jobs and housing.
A spokesman for Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK said: “We are pleased the transfer of ownership has been finalised, which is a key stepping stone in this project.
“As a Denbighshire company, we have always cared passionately about helping to grow the local economy, for the benefit of everyone in North Wales. We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with the North Wales Building Preservation Trust on this development.”
The site will remain in the ownership of Denbighshire County Council until the outcome of a planning application from Jones Bros is known. The date for the planning application will be confirmed at a later date.
For Health and Safety reasons, it is strongly advised for the public to keep away from the site. The company has now arranged to have a security presence on site and CCTV cameras have been installed. Fencing is also being erected around the site.