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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 16:15 GMT
Derelict hospital sold at auction
The former Denbigh hospital
The hospital has been closed since 1995
A former psychiatric hospital in Denbighshire, which cost tax payers 300,000 after planning problems, has been sold at auction for 310,000.

A number of people competed to buy the property at the sale in London but the identity of the new owner has not been made public.

We are keen to see the site suitably developed

Ian Millar Denbighshire chief executive

Denbigh Hospital was initially put up for sale by North Wales Health Authority after it closed in 1995 but offers of about 1m for the 1840s listed building were refused.

The site - which was subsidised by council tax payers - was eventually sold for 155,000 in 1999 to a Lancashire businessman.

Gerald Hitman planned to build a housing development on the 120-acre site.

Derelict building

But he ran into opposition from local people and the former hospital has been left dormant.

Denbighshire council's chief executive Ian Miller said: "We are keen to see the site suitably developed.

"We are eager to meet the new owner or owners of the property so that we can see exactly what sort of plans they have for the further use of the site."

Hospital sign
The hospital sign is still visible

Prior to Thursday's sale Denbighshire council had issued an enforcement notice on Mr Hitman, outlining his responsibility to increase security on the site and replace lost features from the building.

The notice followed a spate of vandalism reported at the derelict building.

A report published in July highlighted the real cost of the hospital's sale to the tax payer.

Auditor General for Wales, Sir John Bourn, used the sale of the Denbigh hospital as an example of how the disposal of property by the NHS in Wales had resulted in costs exceeding the total proceeds.


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