Prestatyn magistrates court is to stop hearing criminal cases by the end of the year.
The court will only preside over civil, family and tribunal hearing following a UK Government consultation – such cases are currently heard at the Rhyl Civil and Family Court, which is due to close. It means criminal cases will be transferred to Llandudno.
Across North Wales, four other courts will be closed at Dolgellau (crown and magistrates), Holyhead magistrates, Llangefni (civil and family) and Wrexham (tribunal hearing centre). Ministers say the reforms are necessary because many buildings were expensive to maintain and were going underused.
There were 17 objections to the plans to downgrade the Prestatyn court, but the presiding and civil judges for Wales said they did not oppose moving criminal work to Llandudno while taking on family and tribunal cases.
In its response, HM Courts & Tribunals Service Wales, said: ”It is acknowledged that some magistrates may need to travel to different courts due to these changes. When the benches were required to work together recently we appreciated their efforts to ensure there was no negative impact…to ensure that access to justice is maintained, even in more rural locations, we are committed to providing alternative ways for users to access our services. In Prestatyn, it may be possible to use the existing video link for those unable to attend at Llandudno.”
The courts at Dolgellau, Holyhead and Llangefni will close when alternative facilities are found.