THE DETAILED planning application, for a flagship development where costs have already doubled according to auditors, has been lodged with Denbighshire council.
The Queen’s Buildings in Rhyl cover 2.3 acres, with much of it being demolished so a food and market hall to replace the dilapidated Queen’s Market can be built, with 16 permanent market stalls and a further six units.
Part of the detailed planning aspect of the application is an events space, open areas, sub-station, library and a refurbishment of the Queen’s Chambers building.
As part of the package outline planning approval has also been sought for up to 80 apartments on the site.
A “viability report” within the planning documents said:
“The proposed scheme cannot currently support any affordable housing provision without compromising the viability of the development.
“The commercial decision as to whether to proceed with the scheme is therefore at the discretion of the applicant.”
An internal audit by Denbighshire council revealed this key scheme in Rhyl’s regeneration strategy had been beset by spiralling costs meaning the budget for the first phase of the scheme had doubled to around £15m.
The damning report also exposed how the authority had failed to stick to “contract procedure rules” for the three-phased development.
The development partner is Liverpool firm Ion Properties Ltd and the council is hoping it can rival the city’s Baltic Triangle.
The demolition work currently taking place will see the Bright Spot arcade, former Queen’s Hotel, old market hall and former Bistro site at the Savoy hotel removed.
The design and access statement (DAS) shows the proposed development will comprise of:
80 residential units (including 32 one bed and 48 two-bed apartments); food hall containing 16 permanent market stalls with flexible space for additional stalls; multi-use event space; public library/offices; food and beverage/retail space and an external public space
The DAS said:
“The site offers an exciting opportunity to reconnect the shopping district of Rhyl with the seaside visitors, providing a new destination within the town centre.
“Through the proposed mix of uses, including residential, commercial, community and public realm, it is intended that the development will act as a catalyst for wider regeneration within the town centre, along with creating employment and new services and facilities for the local community.”
Further supporting documents claim “the Queen’s Market will be reinvented for the 21st Century”.
The new market hall and event space, which will be developed with Welsh Government funding, will open between 9 am and 11 pm and there will be up to 30 events a year.
The documentation says the events area will be a “flexible space for a variety of social and cultural events and activities” – among them theatre, exhibitions, cabaret, live music, indoor recreation/sports or as an extended indoor market space.
In the outline plans a modern commercial building will front Queen Street with the “relocated central library” and Denbighshire council office accommodation.
More commercial office space will face High Street with food and drink retailers on the ground floor.
The outline plans for the five-story apartment blocks show they will face West Parade. It will be the subject of a “reserved matters application” at a later date.
There will be five public spaces, two running through the site and three external “squares”.
The scheme will go before planning committee members at a later date.