THE REDEVELOPMENT of an iconic Abergele town centre site has moved a step closer with designs being drawn up.

Housing association Cartrefi Conwy say they will be consulting local people later this year over the proposals for the long derelict Bee Hotel and the adjoining former Slater’s Citroen and Nissan dealerships.

Slaters closed suddenly in March 2018 after 100 years of trading and then went into administration.

The shock collapse left 74 people out of work and ended the company’s century-long association with the market town.

Cartrefi Conwy have joined forces with contractors Anwyl Partnerships to breathe new life into the 2.3 acre plot.

The acquisition of the land has paved the way for the biggest single scheme in the history of the housing association.

The aim is to create a mix of commercial developments and affordable housing for people aged over 55, along with improved community space and access.

Cartrefi Conwy has also secured an extra £39 million in funding to build 1,000 energy efficient homes across the region.

They say the new finance package was a “gamechanger” that will enable the organisation to reach new heights and help kick start the North Wales economy back into life after the slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden said: “We have been working up design proposals for the site as part of the formal planning process.

“It is a key gateway site into Abergele from the west but unfortunately it has been empty for a long time and it has deteriorated to the point where it has become a derelict eyesore.

“This is the last chance saloon for this site because, without this development, it does not have a viable future and would inevitably become even more ramshackle.

“This is such an important scheme that we want to take time to make sure we get it right whilst ensuring that the people of Abergele and other stakeholders have the opportunity to have their say as part of the formal planning process.

“What we’re proposing is a mix of residential and commercial developments that would help address the growing housing crisis by providing suitable accommodation for people over 55, freeing up much-needed family homes.

“At the same time, the scheme will turbo charge the regeneration of Abergele, providing a huge boost to the local economy.

“Repurposing this strategically important site will safeguard it for the benefit of future generations in Abergele.”