Last year, using a mix of funding streams, Denbighshire County Council purchased the former Next store in the heart of Rhyl town centre.
The Council’s intention was to renovate the property into residential accommodation on the upper floors and into modern units on the ground floor to attract an appropriate town centre use.
However, the Council’s plans have had to be amended following detailed inspections of the building by a structural engineer who advised for the building to be demolished.
The original plan was to renovate the building in two phases. The first phase involved an internal strip out and the second phase was expected to include structural work on the walls, floors and roof.
Whilst some defects in the structure had been identified prior to purchase and in the initial stages of the design process, it wasn’t until the detailed strip out work had started on site that the full extent of the structural issues could be identified.
Graham Boase, Corporate Director for Economy and Public Realm at Denbighshire County Council, said:
“Part of the work through our Vision document involves improving the condition of buildings in the town to improve the public realm. We are continuing to work with property owners in the town to help encourage the private sector to invest in them.
The Council remains fully committed to the regeneration of Rhyl and we will need to invest in buildings until the market confidence in the town increases.
We had initially planned to refurbish this building but after further detailed structural inspections were carried out, it became clear the structure is in very poor condition, due to neglect over a number of years by previous owners. We have regrettably been advised that as responsible owners we have no other option other than to demolish the building and redevelop the site.
“Whilst this is indeed unfortunate it does potentially provide the Council with further options in terms of the future for the site. Once the re-development of this prominent High Street site is complete, it will deliver high quality spaces which will be of benefit to businesses and residents alike, improving the town’s economy and its offer which should encourage private owners to invest in their own properties across the town centre.
“The Council’s focus on improving the character and quality of the town centre remains.”
To stay up to date about the progress of this project, the Queen’s Buildings redevelopment and other schemes involved in the Rhyl Regeneration project then visit http://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/rhyl-regeneration.