New link to the seafront?

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SCARBOROUGH’S South Bay could be transformed under a radical vision to link it with the town centre.

Ideas by the borough council also include the possibility of turning the historic Town Hall into a hotel.

Under the proposals, a walkway would be created from St Nicholas Street all the way to the Futurist and Foreshore Road. It would lead to a venue combining bars, restaurants and shops and a large entertainment complex – with a redevelopment of the Futurist Theatre. The plans do not reveal details about the theatre itself or its capacity but one option might include restoring its original facade.

The Futurist welcomes West End spectacular Dreamboats and Petticoats from Monday, and has hosted sell-out successes from comedian Billy Connolly and Calendar Girls.

The council’s new possibilities include:

- New street towards the sea from the town centre

- Making King Street a new commercial hub

- A hotel at the Town Hall and the Customer First premises used for retail

There could also be a redevelopment of King Street and the Town Hall, with the main historic building retained but some 1960s extensions demolished.

Under the plans to extend King Street, shops, restaurants and bars would line the route, with the current Futurist building amended to include a hotel, cinema and roof terrace.

The notion of using a contoured development would see King Street become a predominantly residential environment, with new pedestrian links to the Futurist.

The theatre would be redeveloped, along with the Mermaid complex, to provide an entertainment and leisure centre and a terraced building at the rear.

A direct link between Bland’s Cliff and St Nicholas Gardens would also be created.

David Archer, the council’s strategic director, said: “The council has recently agreed an indicative timetable for the redevelopment of the Futurist Theatre and surrounding site.

“It is also actively considering the feasibility of relocating its services from the Town Hall, but no decision has been made on this yet and the fact that the Town Hall has been included in the development brief should not be taken as an indication one way or another.

“The brief sets out from a planning perspective, what would be considered acceptable in particular areas, notwithstanding the fact that much of the area we are talking about is in a conservation area and contains listed buildings.

“Redevelopment of this area would have to take that into account.”

The plans will be considered by the council’s planning and development committee on Thursday, March 1.

If the development brief is approved by the committee, an eight-week public consultation period will then be rolled out by the council.

Click here to view the plans

The idea, branded ‘A new street toward the sea’, is described by bosses as the “most radical” proposal and focuses on creating a brand new route running from the Town Hall down to the foreshore.

A report said: “At its core will be a new stepped pedestrian street, traversing from St Nicholas Street, across King Street, and passing through an entertainment complex on the foreshore.

“The historic Town Hall building would be retained for community uses and offices.

“The 1960 extensions would be demolished to make way for the top end of a graded and stepped pedestrian route leading down from St Nicholas Street.

“The historic terraced form of development would be re-established to ensure a tiered townscape, characteristic of the Old Town.

“This would bolster the role of King Street as a link to Newborough.

“The redevelopment of the Futurist Theatre and Mermaid would provide an entertainment complex, complemented by other commercial uses.

“The building would be bisected by a central atrium while the Futurist Steps would be re-routed to facilitate provision of a restaurant and bar overlooking the gardens and sea.”

The council’s second option focuses on the use of King Street.

The report added: “This would make King Street firmly part of the town centre by providing shops, restaurants or bars along much of its length.

“The Town Hall would be retained with 1960s extensions demolished and replaced by a new building to the south of York House.

“In the Futurist area, this shows a replacement building which extends back to occupy the lower parts of the slopes to the rear.

“This would be set into the slope, allowing a roof garden or terrace.

“The building could accommodate a large scale entertainment complex or cinema with a hotel above.

The third option includes the notion of transforming the Town Hall into a hotel.

The report said: “In the Town Hall area, there would be retention of most of the existing buildings, but redevelopment of the rearmost section. The indicative land use plans show the Town Hall as a hotel and the existing Customer First office being used for town centre for retailing or a restaurant, reflecting the current function of St Nicholas Street.

“The layout shows redevelopment of the Futurist Theatre and Mermaid with an entertainment and leisure use.

“A direct link between Bland’s Cliff and St Nicholas Gardens would also be created.

“The plans show this new pedestrian priority street being lined by small retail or commercial units with holiday accommodation.” The final option open to the council, which it has branded the “less favoured” strand of the four proposals, is for the authority to do a minimum amount of work on the area.

The report said this method would look at the prospects of removing the facade currently covering the Futurist Theatre and attempt to breathe new life into the appearance of the building.

It added: “The plan shows the retention of most of the existing buildings, including the Futurist and all of the Town Hall extensions.

“Other enhancements could include remodelling of the 1960s Town Hall extensions and replacement of the existing unattractive roof at the Futurist, as well as revealing or restoring its original facade, possibly behind a glazed frontage.”