County Voice

Winter 2018

Breathing new life into Rhyl town centre in spruce up challenge

A brand new initiative aimed at sprucing up some town centre buildings in Rhyl is being launched by the Council, as part of on-going efforts to breathe new life into the town.

Over recent years, some buildings have fallen into a poor state and are in need of renovating.  The retail area in particular has seen significant changes over the years, but the potential exists to enhance town centre buildings to encourage more people to shop and do business there.

Following consultation led by the Council, businesses and the general public have identified the poor state of some town centre buildings as a key issue in attracting investment, tourists and shoppers.

As a result,  the Council wishes to address this concern and this initiative will involve working with owners/occupiers of town centre properties; those which show evidence of unauthorised development, those which fail to meet advertisement controls and those properties which have fallen into disrepair through neglect, or which have simply been allowed to become untidy.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: “The feedback from local businesses and residents has been extremely useful, as it has reinforced the Council’s view that work needs to be done to spruce up the town centre.

“There are clear long term benefits for property owners and businesses to be gained by investing to improve their properties and bring them to an acceptable standard.   By working together, we can really make a difference to the visual impact of the town centre and encourage more people to make Rhyl town centre their locati0on of choice for shopping, entertainment and to do business.

“We believe this is a unique project and there are no similarly focused projects with dedicated staff on-going within North Wales. It is hoped that our partnership approach will be met with understanding and an acceptance by property owners to make a contribution, when required, towards improving the town centre for the good of all.”

Prakash Lad, a senior building surveyor for Yorkshire Building Society, acknowledges the importance of properly maintaining their buildings. The Society has recently undertaken an extensive refurbishment of their building in High Street, which is to be applauded.

Prakash said: “We manage a programme of planned projects to keep our national retail branch network up to standard and aim to review and carry out external repairs every five to seven years. Anything the Council can do to encourage other owners of town centre buildings to properly maintain their premises should be welcome.”

Nadeem Ahmad from Jean Emporium and Chrome clothing stores in the town centre said: "A well presented and welcoming town centre is integral to the regeneration of Rhyl. It is essential that improvements are made where necessary and standards are kept to a level that will complement the ongoing projects on the promenade.

“Whilst economic conditions are tough, it is important that businesses and the Council work together to make a difference and create an environment where people are happy to visit."

As the initiative progresses dedicated Officers of the Council’s Planning and Public Protection Service will be assessing town centre properties and seeking to work with property owners and in doing so taking an open, helpful, proportionate and consistent approach. The intention being to provide guidance on what action is required and what steps are necessary to remedy the situation. When necessary formal planning enforcement powers will be used.


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