A new multi-million-pound Rhyl-based educational engineering centre got the go-ahead at a Denbighshire planning meeting.

Denbighshire County Council’s planning committee voted in favour of the Coleg Llandrillo Rhyl campus building, which was described as a world-class hub for the engineering sector.

Based on Cefndy Road, the centre will now help students prepare for careers in the industry in areas such as renewable energy and additive manufacturing.

The plans include an institute for renewable energy technology, and the centre has been backed by RWE Renewables, the international company responsible for North Wales’ wind farms.

Rhyl Journal: Engineering centre Internal View. Picture: Coleg LlandrilloEngineering centre Internal View. Picture: Coleg Llandrillo

Speaking on behalf of the college, Laurence Wood asked councillors to support the application, despite an objection from Natural Resources Wales over a risk of flooding.

“This centre of excellence will bring forth a new generation of engineers with the skills and innovative approach that will ultimately support us all to address the climate crisis and the cause of the climate emergencies in our communities,” he said.

“Concerns have been raised over a one-in-200-year flood event. In response we have an approved flood evacuation plan and have included resilience measures into the building. I would ask that the planning committee balances legitimate flooding concern against the overwhelming transformational impact that the proposed development will have.

“I ask the committee to approve this transformative,  state-of-the-art engineering centre, unique in Denbighshire, which will certainly support economic growth, inward investment and importantly will contribute positively to address the factors of deprivation that place many areas in Rhyl in the top 10% of deprived areas in Wales.”

Rhyl Journal: Engineering centre external view. Picture: Coleg LlandrilloEngineering centre external view. Picture: Coleg Llandrillo

Cllr Ellie Chard said: “It is going to be built for the youngsters, plus residents who want to change their employment skills. If we have this in Rhyl, we will be able to attract more and more companies to this area. It’s going to be such an asset to our town.

“I’m aware of the flooding, but I’m glad to hear that Lawrence is saying it is a 200-year flooding issue.”

Cllr Jeanette Chamberlain-Jones said: “I really want you all to support it. It will be a great asset to Rhyl.”

Cllr Brian Jones added: “It is an absolutely fantastic project that is coming along. I think we all know that education is the cornerstone of building a decent society.”

The college applied for permission for a change of use for the land. The land is currently grassland marked for educational and industrial use.

Rhyl Journal: Engineering centre internal view. Picture: Coleg LlandrilloEngineering centre internal view. Picture: Coleg Llandrillo

The plans include the construction of an internal site access road and car park, together with landscaping and associated works at the existing Rhyl college campus.

Officers recommended the plans be approved, and Rhyl councillor Ellie Chard proposed that councillors supported the application. The vote was unanimous.