Concerns raised over Town Hall

Town Hall
Town Hall

A LACK of confidence in Scarborough Council’s ability to attract developers and operators for the Town Hall site was the resounding concern from a public meeting as consultation on the proposals nears its end.

Around 80 residents attended The Scarborough Urban Area Forum meeting in which council officers presented plans before the floor was opened to public questions.

The proposals include three varying options for the development of a stretch of land from the Town Hall to the Futurist, encompassing King Street; two of which see the Town Hall office function relocated to the former Skipton Building Society offices at Eastfield.

A public consultation into the development briefs is due to end on May 30.

Fears were raised among those in attendance that the project would begin, but a lack of investment would see areas become derelict and the project unfinished, with comparisons being made to The Sands in the North Bay.

But Jim Dillon, the council’s chief executive, said: “We are not risk averse. We have an audit committee which has been looking at what the risks are. They are challenging that and identifying what may or may not happen, and put in place measures to mitigate those risks.”

The relocation of the Town Hall office function and the civic function was also hotly debated.

The council claims that if it were to stay in its current building it would need to spend £5.6 million of maintenance, compared with a £3.2 million price tag of moving the offices and civic function to Prospect House.

Many questioned why a new office could not be built on vacant sites in the town centre to reduce the economic impact, however Mr Dillon said with an £8 to £10 million cost for a new build it was not an option.

Following the public consultation reports will be written and assessed next month before being presented to cabinet on July 17 and full council on July 20, when the vote will be made.