A derelict hotel in Mold is set to be demolished in order to make way for 23 new apartments.
It comes after proposals to knock down the Bryn Awel Hotel off Denbigh Road and replace it with two apartment blocks were given the green light.
The scheme was recommended for approval by officers from Flintshire Council’s chief planning officer, who said it would provide an opportunity to revive the site.
The 18-bedroom hotel has stood empty since it closed suddenly in 2011 after being part of the town’s tourism trade for more than 50 years.
However, during a meeting of the local authority’s planning committee concerns were raised about the size of the buildings and lack of parking.
Cllr Brian Lloyd, who represents the area, described it as ‘a massive overdevelopment’.
Speaking at County Hall in Mold, he said: “The main concern is the height of the blocks and it is disappointing Wales and West didn’t take the opportunity to reduce the two storeys following a number of objections from local residents and Mold Town Council.
“At a recent meeting of Mold Town Council’s planning committee, local residents spoke of their concerns regarding the overdevelopment of the Bryn Awel.
“I must stress that Mold Town Council and the residents are not against development at the Bryn Awel as it has been a run-down site for a number of years.
“This is a massive overdevelopment, it’s too high, it’s overpowering, it’s out of scale, it has too many apartments and not enough parking spaces.”
In a report which was considered by the committee, chief planning officer Andrew Farrow acknowledged the density of development was higher than normal, but said the site was suitable for the apartments outlined.
He added that no objections had been raised by the council’s highway department regarding the parking situation because of the scheme’s close proximity to the town centre.
While some councillors supported the arguments put forward by Cllr Lloyd, others said the regeneration of the site was needed.
Labour’s Derek Butler said: “I fully take on board the local member’s views and Mold Town Council in this respect, but no site is ideal.
“I’ve been a long-time member of the planning committee and I don’t think I’ve ever had an application that was ideal in all aspects.
“Where I’m coming from in supporting this is that it’s long overdue, there’s a prior permission on this site for something similar and I can’t see whereby we could defend not supporting this.
“I’m sure when the Bryn Awel was a bouncing, thriving hostelry and hotel that the numbers of cars would well exceed the number which could possibly be generated by this scheme.”
At the end of the meeting, the plans were approved by 13 votes to two.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).