Waterpark plans progress

Early designs for the new waterpark
Early designs for the new waterpark

A multi million pound water park is a step closer to being built in Scarborough after councillors agreed to extend the North Bay project’s development agreement.

At a meeting of Full Council this afternoon, councillors agreed in broad terms to the extension of the development agreement between the council and the developers of The Sands, Benchmark Properties Limited.

The agreement had been previously due to expire on May 30.

Councillors also agreed on the funding and construction of the water park.

However it was agreed that this would be deferred but with an immediate short term extension of the development agreement granted until September 30 this year.

Bosses at the council say this time will be used to enable proposals to be further developed, specialist advice obtained, due diligence to continue and further consultation facilitated.

Benchmark has indicated that preliminary works for the water park can still be undertaken, at their risk, while the council considers the proposals further.

The decision to defer the decision on the water park should therefore not delay the anticipated opening date of the water park, scheduled for February 2015.

Benchmark will use the time between now and the end of September to firm up its proposals with the intended operator of the water park, Alpamare UK Limited.

Cllr Tom Fox, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council said: “We now have a clear direction as to how Scarborough’s next big attraction might be delivered. At the same time, today’s decision doesn’t commit the council to anything as we are conscious that we want to do the right thing by our taxpayers and ensure the proposals being developed for the funding and construction of the water park have the best chance of success. That is why we have agreed to a short term extension of the development agreement initially.

“Both the council and Benchmark are committed to putting in the hard work required in the next few months to firm up all the proposals and commercial agreements, many of which are very complex due to the extent of the project. Scarborough deserves a world class year round attraction and by working together we hope we can turn that dream into a reality.”

The detailed proposals will be the subject of a further report to Full Council on September 9.