Iconic building’s future to be decided this week
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
The future of an iconic Colwyn Bay building could soon be decided after councillors discussed its future behind closed doors.
This week cabinet members discussed the disposal of the council-owned Civic Offices.
The buildings, beside North Wales Police headquarters on Abergele Road, were vacated in 2019 as part of the local authority’s ‘modernisation’ programme.
The move saw many council staff leave the Civic Centre as well as its buildings on Dinerth Road in Rhos On Sea, following staff being transferred to the brand-new, purpose-built Coed Pella building in 2018.
Cabinet members discussed the ‘disposal’ of the building as an exempt item on Tuesday with a decision scheduled to be made this week, according to the exempt report, which likely contains sensitive financial information.
The report recommendation states: “That Members approve the preferred option for the disposal of the Civic Offices, Colwyn Bay.”
While it’s not known what that option is, it is known that Conwy has received interest from developers. Conwy says it will consider residential, office, and hotel uses for the building.
The site is currently listed on the council’s website as ‘for sale’.
Built in 1909 as a convalescent home, the Grade Two Listed building was repurposed as the Civic Centre in 1964. The building includes 3.9 acres of surrounding grounds, which are enclosed by Eirias Park.
The council website states: “Due to the setting and listing nature of the building, to assist prospective purchasers the Council have developed a planning brief via external consultants, Cadnant Planning.
“This document will appraise parties of the site’s history, planning consents in place, and identify opportunities and constraints in relation to the built fabric and the grounds. The document will be available in the secure data room. The Civic Centre lends itself well to a variety of differing redevelopment uses. Offers on the basis of residential, office, and hotel uses are encouraged, but mixed or alternative uses will also be considered.
“The landowner, Conwy County Borough Council, are open to discussions with prospective purchasers, should parties wish to explore their redevelopment proposals with the Council, prior to submitting a bid.”
A spokeswoman for Conwy County Council said: “The Special Cabinet meeting on 26 April was to consider bid proposals for the Civic Offices site in Colwyn Bay so that one could be selected. The proposed use, value and name of the bidder are commercially sensitive, so it was an exempt item on the Agenda.”
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Please, stop using ‘Iconic’.
“Disposal” is a funny word. It suggests “getting rid of”. One might instead use the term “divestment” or even “sale of”. The use of “disposal” feels like that council are going to sell the property on for a pittance to a developer who is “doing us a favour by taking it off our hands” instead of “getting the best value for taxpayers by selling a grand building at a time when the property market is booming like never before”. Any interested party should look very closely at the connections and the recent financial dealings of the successful bidder. Because this… Read more »