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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Campaigner slams hospital redevelopment plan


* The empty and derelict Cottage Hospital.

A PLAN to tear down Llangollen Cottage Hospital and replace it with a dozen affordable new homes has been branded as a “disgrace and a scandal” by a campaigner.

Martin Crumpton, who opposed the closure of the Victorian hospital in Abbey Road two years ago, made the comments after learning that an application for the development by a housing association could finally be considered by Denbighshire’s planning committee at its March meeting.

The scheme involves the redevelopment of the old hospital site after the demolition of existing buildings and the erection of six social housing units with associated access and parking provision.

Also involved in the scheme is the development of an ancillary car park opposite the hospital and the erection of a further six social housing units with associated access and parking provision.

Mr Crumpton said: “I have just learned from the county’s principal planning officer Ian Weaver that the application could go before the committee next month, which means that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s plans for the hospital appear to be in disarray as it was originally due to be considered last December.

“The pressure to demolish this Llangollen heritage building has never made any sense. It can’t be the need to housing since that isn’t in the health board’s province, and the land reserved in the long-delayed Local Development Plan hasn’t even been looked at, so we can eliminate that as a source of pressure.
 
“The need for beds is far more urgent – desperate, in fact – and campaigns are still running to re-open those closed.
 
“It is a scandal. It is a disgrace.

“I have no hesitation in levelling the accusation that the board of Betsi Cadwaladr and the Welsh Health Minister of knowingly and wilfully exposing the inhabitants of Llangollen to harm.”
* Details of the planning application can be found on the county council’s website at:  http://planning.denbighshire.gov.uk. Its reference number is 03/2014/0472.

llanblogger reader Derek Foster commented:

"I totally agree that it should be retained and put back as a hospital, certainly for minor injuries especially with the railway workshops close by. There is also the consideration of bats which live there.

"The main complaint of visitors to the railway is the lack of parking space and now the little car park that was the hospital's will be lost."

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