Demolition work is set to restart on the Tudno Castle Hotel in Llandudno to make way for a £10m mixed-use development built by Bowmer & Kirkland, despite the plans being branded as “irresponsible” by the Victorian Society.
Opus and Mostyn Estates’ plans for the site have been ongoing since 2014 when demolition works started, with the developers intending to retain the building’s grade two-listed façade.
However, demolition works stopped after it was discovered the building was structurally unsound, while it was also discovered the listed façade was made of rubble stone rather than ashlar stone, making a retention difficult. The developer is now hoping to win final consent from Conwy Council to fully demolish the building and rebuild the former façade “like-for-like” using original materials.
This will make way for a £10m hotel and restaurant development, including 63 hotel rooms alongside five restaurants. Beefeater has already been confirmed as one tenant, and while Prezzo had originally agreed to take another of the units, it has since dropped out after its CVA earlier this year.
It is understood Bowmer & Kirkland is due to start works on the main building once the former hotel is demolished this summer.
The plans have come in for heavy criticism from the Victorian Society which has objected to the development since plans were first put forward. The Society has claimed the demolition of the building would be “irresponsible” and said the developer should focus on bringing in “conservation architects with experience and expertise” for the reconstruction of the façade.
The Society said: “The construction of a faithful and historically sensitive new façade is the only thing that could now make good at least some of the harm caused by the sustained disregard for this heritage asset.”
Anna Shelley, conservation adviser at the Victorian Society, added: “The complete demolition of the Tudno Castle Hotel was entirely avoidable, and the plans could have been revised and reconsidered at various stages in the assessment process. All those responsible – particularly developer and Local Authority – should take a good hard look at themselves. How has this been allowed to happen?”