A JD WETHERSPOON pub is no longer on the cards for Prestatyn - at least, for now.

For several years rumours have swirled round that the pub chain was coming to the town.

In 2018, the company gave its biggest indication yet when responding to the news that the Municipal offices, on 6/8 Nant Hall Road, was in the process of being sold.

A spokesperson at the time told the Journal they were “in discussions to purchase the building” and were “very keen” to open a pub in the town.

However, matters have now come to a “halt” and in a letter, seen by the Journal, from an employee responsible for the Denbighshire County Council's property portfolio, it is stated that JD Wetherspoon have withdrawn their interest due to “rapidly increasing development costs on new builds as a consequence of supply issues in both the materials and labour markets.”

It also adds that JD Wetherspoon “regret” their decision and the price they agreed with Denbighshire County Council for the building was “reasonable”.

Town councillor Anton Sampson, chair of community development and regeneration committee, said: “It’s a shame Wetherspoon have taken this decision. Not so much because we need another bar but because it was to provide much needed accommodation and employment. I’m hoping a good use can be found for this building maybe of a similar business model - for example, accommodation.

“I will be doing everything I can to ensure that we make good use of this building.

“Hospitality has suffered during the pandemic and this decision demonstrates that even the big players aren’t immune.

“We are lucky in Prestatyn in that we have a fantastic and varied choice of bars and eateries that cater for various tastes and budgets. I think it’s important that we support these businesses more than ever, they have done a brilliant job of displaying initiative during difficult times.”

Cllr Tony Flynn, of Prestatyn North, said: "I was greatly disappointed to hear this news after our town council vacating the premises to make way for the local authorities to sell freehold.

"I can remember the last article the Journal wrote. I was asked for a comment, then as mayor, and I had a message informing me from Weatherspoon that Prestatyn was a top priority to acquire.

"I am a firm believer that a new opportunity has arisen to convert the building into 40 one bedroom flats which is so needed in Prestatyn to house those with great housing needs. 

"Currently the local authorities are putting single people and couples into bedsits in former bed and breakfast dwellings in Rhyl with no kitchens and a shared bathroom between four rooms. 

"I have asked the council to discuss in cabinet and to agree to make this happen as council properties for one of the greatest needs our authorities face which is a dignified place to live for those with the greatest needs."

Cllr Sharon Frobisher, mayor of Prestatyn and Meliden, voiced her disappointment.

“The town council had to vacate the building three years ago so as to prepare for the very exciting prospects that Wetherspoon would bring to the town's economy,” she said.

Cllr Gerry Frobisher said: “It is sad. There was such a rush put on the town council by the owners of the building, Denbighshire County Council, to evict us from the town council chambers and mayors parlour because they were selling to Wetherspoon. So much history had been stolen from the town that cannot be reclaimed.”

The building on Nant Hall was built in 1903 originally as the fire station.

Over the years it has been home to a library, county council offices, Prestatyn urban district council chambers, mayors parlour and the police had several rooms as the town police station. It also housed Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) community nurses.

The chambers featured wood panels with the name of every town chairman and town mayor from 1890 to 2021 and even the Rhuddlan Borough Chairman names.

Group shot of some of the town councillors from what was thought to be the last meeting in the chamber. Picture: Anton Sampson

Group shot of some of the town councillors from what was thought to be the last meeting in the chamber. Picture: Anton Sampson

In 2018, councillors described their departure from the building as an "end of an era"; The building had been used by councillors and public services for more than 100 years.

The building contained many important artefacts and over the years, had become an attraction for visitors and groups.

Many visited the chamber and mayors parlour and signed the visitors book which was first signed by HRH Prince Charles in 1969.

In May 2020, the pub chain informed the Journal that Wetherspoon had agreed terms on the Prestatyn site and it was "with the solicitors" but had not exchanged on the purchase of the property.

Covid-19 did put a delay on all new JD Wetherspoon pub openings.

Eddie Gershon, Wetherspoon spokesman, said: “We are still keen to open a Wetherspoon pub in the town.

“We are still interested in a specific site in Prestatyn, however matters have come to a halt on that at present.

“It does not mean that we won’t return to negotiations on that site at some time in the future.”

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council said: “We are continuing to explore options for the future use of this building.”