Plans for a “world class” multi-million pound mental health unit and multi-storey car park have been lodged with Denbighshire council.

The scheme, which will see a replacement, 63-bed building constructed for the Ablett unit at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, will cover a 2.8 hectare area adjacent to the current pathology labs.

A multi-storey car park, capable of accommodating more than 601 vehicles inside and 128 externally, will be built on the open car park site opposite the hospital’s renal and diabetes unit.

Tawel Fan ward on the unit was the scene of what independent reviewer Donna Ockenden called “institutional abuse” after being shut amid serious concerns for patient safety in 2013.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board later commissioned a second study into events there costing more than £2m, which contradicted Mrs Ockenden’s findings.

The board pledged to build a new unit on the site as part of a revamp of mental health services last year.

The plans represent the fruit of those labours by health board chiefs desperate to move away from the stigma surrounding its mental health provision.

Those services are one of the reasons why the board is still in Special Measures, more than five years after first being given the highest form of Welsh Government oversight.

The plans, consulted on this summer, would see the unit support mental health delivery across North Wales.

The new building will house:

*2 x adult acute wards

*Older persons functional ward

*Older persons organic ward


*Administrative and staff spaces


*ECT suite

*136 suite

*Assessment suite

*Extra care facility

The designers say the building will have energy efficiency and sustainability at part of its “core principles”.

The design and access statement says: “The aspiration is to deliver a world class facility, providing excellence in local, regional and national mental health services.”

It will consist of a three-storey block to the north and a two-storey block to the south and the unit and gardens will be surrounded by secure fencing.

The two, interconnected buildings will be designed in a ‘V’ shape with courtyards and gardens between and surrounding the buildings.

A front plaza will act as a drop-off zone and the privacy of nearby residential properties will be protected by trees and fencing.

The new building will be completed by 2024 and will cost an estimated £64m, four times the cost of the entire hospital, which opened in 1980.