PLANS to transform the Denbigh Asylum site have been backed for approval by planning officers.

The Grade II listed building closed as a psychiatric hospital in 1995 and has since been targeted by urban explorers and vandals.

It has since been subject to a number of speculative planning applications - including for a college, hotel and army barracks.

The site belongs to Denbighshire County Council, but plans were submitted by local developer Jones Bros in May 2020 to build 300 new homes and facilities for local businesses, shops and leisure. at the site.

There are also plans to create an area which Denbigh Cricket Club would make their new home.

The plans would see some buildings at the site demolished, namely the Nurses Home, Mortuary, Isolation ward, Aled ward and former gasworks buildings.

Some of the main listed buildings will be restored as apartments.

If given the green light, developers say the scheme will pump £75m into the local economy and create 1,200 jobs.

And Denbighshire Council's planning officers this week recommended the scheme for approval ahead of the local authority's planning committee meeting next week (September 8).

The report from officers said: "Officers acknowledge the loss of additional listed buildings is a negative factor in the consideration of the application, and that housing development in the grounds of the hospital will have an impact on the setting of the remaining listed buildings.

"Taking the range of policies and guidance, material considerations and representations into account, officers consider it reasonable to attach greater weight to the positive aspects of the package of proposals, as they offer a realistic prospect of saving nationally important listed buildings and the restoration of the grounds of the hospital, with significant economic and environmental benefits for the town."