An application to demolish all the buildings on the former Ysbyty Minffordd Hospital site has been resubmitted after a new Bat Report approved the demolition.
Previous plans to demolish the buildings were put on hold earlier this year after concerns that bats could be nesting or hibernating in the derelict buildings.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said they had ‘significant concerns’ about the plans and advised that a further report be carried out to demonstrate that the proposed demolition would not harm or disturb bats or their breeding sites and resting places at the site.
NRW reiterated the requirement for works to be carried out to compensate the loss of a maternity roost for Brown Long Eared and common Pipistrelle bats, should demolition be approved.
The new report, carried out in May 2019, did not find any evidence of hibernating bats in the buildings but recommended that demolition should take place outside the hibernation period for bats, which is November to March.
Bat boxes will be installed on adjacent trees prior to the demolition of the buildings. This should include all-season bat boxes or separate hibernation and summer -roost types.
All buildings will be inspected by a bat licensed ecologist prior to demolition. Where bats, or evidence of bats, are found then works would need to stop and a derogation licence from NRW applied for. If no bats are found, any remaining potential roost features, including cracks and crevices, will then be carefully demolished under ecological supervision.
Any bats which become exposed and are vulnerable would be removed by the licensed bat worker (licensed to handle bats in emergency situations) with gloved hands or a hand net. The bat would be placed in a draw-string cloth bag and removed to the bat boxes installed prior to demolition of the buildings
The buildings on the site have been the subject of unauthorised trespass which has included damage to the buildings, theft of materials from the site and fly tipping. The buildings and the activities associated with the trespass remain serious concern to the police and the local community.
A report form the North Wales Arson Reduction Team found that the site is being used by youths from as far away as Holywell and police were concerned that the buildings were known to be a meeting a place for drug dealers and prostitutes.
The concerns also include potential harm to the trespassers as the buildings structural stability cannot be guaranteed, the risk of exposure to asbestos containing materials and arson related hazards. Demolition of the buildings and site clearance would appear to the solution of the problems outlined above.
The hospital was built in 1895 in the aftermath of the 1882 typhoid epidemic that accounted for 42 deaths around the Bangor area. The hospital included a number of isolation wards.
In recent years, Minffordd became a community hospital, and also housed the Gwynedd Alzheimers Society. After a lengthy public consultation the hospital closed in 2006.
North Wales Arson Reduction Team, North Wales Police and Bangor City Council support the application to demolish the site.