'Bleak future' for former North Wales Hospital buildings
Some listed buildings at the former North Wales Hospital may not be salvageable, an inquiry has heard.
Owners Freemont (Denbigh) Ltd are appealing against a compulsory purchase order (CPO) by Denbighshire council which said action was needed to preserve the Victorian buildings.
Harriet Townsend, for the council, said some buildings have declined so badly that they might be beyond saving.
She said without the CPO the future of the buildings "is bleak".
The public inquiry hopes to determine if the council was justified in stepping in or whether Freemont should have been given more time to pursue its redevelopment plans for the site.
In 2011 the council, frustrated at the deterioration of the listed buildings, served an urgent works notice on the company and then carried out repair work by default.
Ms Townsend said that if the council had not carried out works itself, "it is likely the jewel of the site would now be beyond repair".
In October 2014, a public inquiry was held into the council's claim for the £900,000 of work to be refunded by Freemont.
The Welsh government's decision on that is expected within the next three weeks.
Plans for a large-scale, mixed development have since been submitted on behalf of the Prince's Regeneration Trust, working in conjunction with the council.
If the CPO is confirmed, it is proposed the property be handed over to the North Wales Buildings Preservation Trust.