WORK to build a much anticipated family waterpark in Scarborough is planned to start in June 2012.
The park, which is expected to attract 400,000 visitors a year, has been on the agenda as part of the North Bay’s Sands Development since it was first proposed in 2002.
However, following the submission of a new Masterplan for the project, developers say a water park is the next priority and have set a completion date of November 2013.
The first phase of the Sands, which included the waterfront apartments and the Open Air Theatre, was completed by developers Benchmark.
Since phase one was finished Benchmark has been taken over by new owners who are taking a new approach to the scheme.
However, before any further developments can begin Scarborough Council needs to decide whether it is going to extend the current project agreement with Benchmark, which is due to expire in June.
The council is faced with either extending the agreement, or re-tendering the remainder of the entire project.
If the agreement is extended Benchmark’s new owner says it is ready to submit a detailed planning application for the water park by July this year.
The Water Park Phase includes plans for a waterpark, a public house and more than 300 car parking spaces on the former Burniston Barracks site, as well as 35 timber holiday lodges in parkland on the former Kinderland site. The park itself is set to feature:
l An indoor wave pool
l Children’s pool
l ‘Tornado’ water slide
l Outdoor family pool
l ‘Lazy river’
l Pool and spa.
David Archer, strategic director at Scarborough Council, said: “Negotiations with Benchmark to extend the agreement have focused on the importance of delivering the water park as the next priority phase.
“This approach has a number of advantages as the park is seen as a high priority by the local community in terms of the further boost it will give to the North Bay and to the wider tourism industry.
It will also provide a high quality all year round leisure facility for residents.
“Its early delivery will also keep the Sands momentum going, and serious interest is currently being shown by an experienced operator called Alpamare to take a lease on the water park.”
Benchmark’s previous owners approach had been to build up sufficient funds from the more profitable elements of the scheme to allow the water park to proceed.
The new owner has voiced a different approach which is to provide the up front funding for the water park to enable it to happen as the next phase of the development.
Mr Archer said: “As a demonstration of his commitment to the development the new owner has invested time and resources at risk to move the scheme forward.
“This includes an outlay of approximately £90,000 on such things as the appointment of his planning consultants, architect and legal fees etc. to progress the water park and newt works.”
The new Masterplan for the Sands scheme also includes a hotel, restaurant and retail outlet on the former Atlantis site, though developers say work on this will be delayed until the water park development is completed.
The former Marvels site is still subject to a planning application for 116 holiday homes which was submitted in 2007. However newts on the site need to be relocated before the plans can proceed.
Councillors are meeting on Thursday to decide what action to take with regard to extending the agreement or re-tendering the site.