Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Protest over hospital demolition

A protester
Protesters are against the demolition of any buildings on the site

Around a dozen people have protested against the demolition of buildings at an ex-psychiatric hospital as the site is prepared for future development.

Work to demolish some outbuildings at the North Wales Hospital in Denbigh has been halted after the discovery of a protected species of bat.

Protesters are concerned some buildings which are grade-II listed could be in danger when work re-starts.

The site owners said no buildings will be demolished without permission.

Ayub Bhailock, a consultant with Freemont Denbigh Ltd, which owns the site, said permission for demolition of certain buildings had been issued three years ago, in conjunction with Denbighshire Council, the Welsh Assembly Government and Cadw.

I think people might be worried that the whole site is being demolished - that's misconceived
Ayub Bhailock, developer
He said they were parts of the site which were added after the original hospital was built.

Misconceived

He said: "The main purpose of this is to protect and maintain the main building. It's a beautiful building.

"I think people might be worried that the whole site is being demolished - that's misconceived, it's the later buildings that were added."

The property was bought by a private owner in 2002 and the council granted outline planning permission for new housing on the site.

The downturn in the economy means there is now little demand for housing land, and other options are being considered for the site, including its possible use as a prison.

Demolition work began earlier this month.

Denbigh Hospital
Denbigh Hospital was built in 1844 and closed in 1995

Campaigners say one of the demolished buildings, Erddig Ward (also known as Bryn Golau) was a listed building and should have been left intact.

Bats

Colin Jones, who runs the website www.northwaleshospital.co.uk and has organised Friday's protest, said many campaigners were against the demolition of any buildings.

He added: "We're particularly concerned about listed buildings - none of them should go.

"It is a sad day because for so long the hospital has been left stagnant, and their only resort to solving the problems is pulling down the history of our town, rather than making use of what we have."

Some campaigners are concerned about the preservation of bats found in the complex.

Campaigner Craig Hornby said he had seen them on numerous occasions.

He said: "I believe bats are protected within the UK and I hope something can be done to highlight this issue."

In a statement, Denbighshire Council said: "Only those buildings which are the subject of the listed building consent can be demolished.

"The owners and contractors are aware that separate procedures have to be followed before demolition proceeds, including the need for licensing from the Welsh Assembly Government if bat roosts are to be disturbed."



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SEE ALSO
Hospital development 'not viable'
05 Jun 08 |  North East Wales
Homes plan halted for ex-hospital
24 Mar 05 |  North East Wales
Derelict hospital's way forward
24 Nov 04 |  North East Wales
Community opposed to Wrexham jail
15 Aug 08 |  North East Wales

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