Council seeking to recoup £1 million


Kirstie Dolphin

THE council is seeking to claw back £1 million from urgent works it carried out on the former North Wales Hospital.

Denbighshire County Council is pressing ahead with action to try and recoup costs incurred after the authority carried out work on the North Wales Hospital site in Denbigh.

The authority arranged for  works required by an Urgent Works Notice it had issued to be carried out,  incurring costs in the region of £900,000.

Graham Boase, Denbighshire council’s head of planning and public protection, said: “Whilst this is a hurdle in the long running history of the site, the council is adamant that it will pursue action against the owner to recoup the costs.

“This has been extremely frustrating, especially as our key concern was to protect this historic site from becoming utterly derelict.”
Invoices for payments were served on the owner of the site, an off-shore company based in the British Virgin Islands.

But the company has appealed against notices issued by the council, for about £450,000 worth of work, and this will be heard during a public inquiry, held by the planning inspectorate, at Denbigh Town Hall from Tuesday, April 8 until Friday, April 11.

The planning inspector will then make a recommendation to Welsh Government ministers on the appeal.

The inspectorate held a Pre-Inquiry Meeting (PIM), on Wednesday, January 8, at Denbigh Town Hall.

Denbigh county councillor and council chairman Raymond Bartley said: “I attended the meeting and the inspectorate explained how they were going to go about and proceed with the inquiry.”

The Welsh Government has said that two of the five appeals (worth another £450,000) will not be considered as they are deemed to be out of time.
The council is considering its legal position on this matter.

These proceedings are not related to the recent agreement by the council to take Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) proceedings against the owner.
It is expected that the CPO papers will be served on the owners in the coming weeks.

See full story in the Free Press

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