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* Llangollen's former Cottage Hospital is to be bulldozed to make way for new homes.
* SEE REPLY FROM CLLR STUART DAVIES AT FOOT OF STORY
DESPITE a strong plea for it to be retained to provide extra NHS beds for the area, county councillors have voted in favour of bulldozing Llangollen’s empty Cottage Hospital and using the site for new homes.
Martin Crumpton, who led the campaign to keep the Victorian hospital open two years ago for the building to be mothballed for possible future use by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, was made through an officer to the Denbighshire planning committee at its meeting earlier today (Wednesday).
But members voted 19-5 to approve a plan to see it redeveloped by a housing association with six social housing units plus 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 later: “My speech to the committee was read out for me by the monitoring officer as a special arrangement owing to me being given less than 48-hours notice to attend the meeting.
“My concerns were basically brushed aside as a matter between me and Betsi Cadwaladr.
“I deeply regret this myopic view as Llangollen creeps towards becoming a dormitory town.
“Certainly, the case for additional dwellings was feeble and no account was made of additional resources which will be expected by a growing population.
“Councillor Rhys Hughes at least touched on it but the case officer, in calling it a matter of judgment, confirmed the department’s judgment that it was outside the scope of the committee.
“I hope the Llangollen Museum does its utmost to record a significant part of Llangollen’s make-up and history which was lost today without so much as a murmur.”
Councillor Stuart Davies replies:
"I see the Berwyn Resident is showing a lack of comprehension of the planning process and blaming DCC for something beyond its control.
As a member of the Planning Committee I have to make decisions based solely on planning grounds.
I was instrumental in forcing a meeting with the then CEO of the Betsi, her senior officers and various concerned DCC members and officers. The case for keeping the hospital open was forcibly put. A full and frank conversation took place. The Betsi ignored my wishes and the process of closure started. The rest is history.
The Betsi then had an empty building on its hands. What they do with it is not in DCCs control.
Mr Crumpton says: “My concerns were basically brushed aside as a matter between me and Betsi Cadwaladr."
In actuality they were not planning concerns and so have no weight at planning committee.
He says: “Certainly, the case for additional dwellings was feeble"
I beg to differ, and judging by the calls I get, so would the young people wanting a house in Llangollen to bring up their familiesI.
I will continue to fight for more affordable housing for the youngsters here in Llangollen. That's what I promised when I was elected and what I am doing!"