Planners back flats at Rhyl's Grange Hotel

Grange Hotel, Rhyl
Image caption The Grange Hotel after the fire destroyed the west wing in 2008

Denbighshire planners have approved plans to turn a seafront hotel into apartments, more than two years after it was gutted by fire.

The Grange Hotel in Rhyl was badly damaged by flames in March 2008.

Despite its prominent position on East Parade, the building has remained derelict since the blaze.

The plans will see the Grade-II listed building turned into 20 flats, with the damaged western wing completely demolished.

A restaurant and function room are also planned.

It was the latest in a long series of planning applications for the site put before the council.

A bid was made in 2007 to turn the former 29-bedroom hotel into apartments, but was rejected by the council.

The planning authority was again asked to consider the latest plans for the site in January.

However, the project was put on hold while discussions took place over whether the owners, JAPA Developments, should make a contribution to provide affordable social housing in the county, and to secure a conservation management plan for the heritage site.

Rhyl Town Council has objected to the new development on grounds that it will lead to too many flats, and cause parking problems for other residents in the area.

However, Denbighshire councillors were asked to approve the application by its officers, who said the demolition of the fire damaged sections of the building "would represent a recognisable gain" for the town.

The developers have been given six months to start work.

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