Wales

Private Rhyl mental health hospital bid rejected

Former Denbighshire council offices on Brighton Road, Rhyl Image copyright Google
Image caption The building had been home to Denbighshire social services

Plans for a private hospital in Rhyl for people with mental health issues have been rejected by councillors.

Backers said the 61-bed facility at former council offices on Brighton Road would have created 150 jobs.

North Wales Police raised concerns about security while health officials questioned the level of demand.

Denbighshire council planners warned of a loss of office space in Rhyl, but the applicant's agent pointed out the site had been vacant for two years.

The agent, John Horden, disputed the idea that the site would be needed for other uses, having been on the market since 2017.

"It has been offered for sale or lease and since then there have only been two enquiries, none of which were for offices," he said.

'Risk'

Describing the nature of the intended patients, the planning documents said: "Service users will have a diagnosis of mental disorder and may have associated personality and trauma-related issues."

Councillor Barry Mellor, who represents Rhyl East, argued against the plans, claiming there was a "risk there from this type of building".

"There is a housing estate directly next door, one of the very few where you see children still playing out in the street," he said.

"We also have some lovely apartments across from this building which cost thousands to bring back into use.

"This application is just not in the right place."

North Wales Police said there was no specific evidence to suggest there would be an increase in crime and disorder if the hospital was approved.

However, the force said officers "do have concerns as regards the lack of detail around secure arrangements for what are evidently people with significantly complex needs".

Members of the committee voted by 15 votes to one against granting planning permission, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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