Re Proposals for development of water park.
So now we have it, Roland Duce has bought the Benchmark Company, but it will still trade under the same name, and he is committed to building our much longed-for water park. At the meeting, he was at his most seductive.
Whilst I am one of those who firmly believe that Scarborough should have an appropriate water-based year-round leisure centre, I also believe we are being emotionally blackmailed by a property developer as there are other ways and means for the council to achieve an over-all greater objective for Scarborough, that includes a water park.
This meeting posed far more questions than it answered.
1) He made it absolutely clear that this water park is a “loss-leader” for his company, because he is a property developer, and he is doing it out of the kindness of his heart because he can afford it, and it opened the way for a large property development where he will make his money back. (The old Marvels site will become 124 units of three-bedroom houses on a bespoke site for holiday accommodation, and Kinderland a smaller 36 unit development of log cabins). As he is contracting out the water park development to a German company, anyway, why do the council need to involve him at all. Why not decide on an appropriate site themselves, then put a planning brief out to tender for specialist companies and negotiate appropriate terms with companies who express an interest?
2) Do we actually need a 124 x three-bedroom holiday accommodation development? Aren’t there better uses for the old Marvel site, like a state of the art tourist attraction (look at Isle of Wight website to see what I mean). In this way they can make other, probably more appropriate, decisions about the Kinderland and Marvel sites to benefit the town as a whole, rather than a property developer in particular who considers tourist attraction development a loss leader.
3) Why this particular site, for the water park? Why not the old Atlantis site? The amount of traffic problems which the present choice of site presents, are the stuff of nightmares. Add this to the large property development Roland Duce is proposing on a high mound with the sea on one side and the Open Air Theatre on the other, and no existing appropriate vehicular access, means that roads will have to be built specially. Where are those going to be routed, and who will pay for them? Will they be private roads bought by and maintained by the leaseholder of the “village”? Highways will be consulted as part of the planning consent process.
4) Why does the council always turn to property development companies for every piece of land they wish to develop, instead of making their own appropriate development decisions for use of the land in consultation with the people, and then through a proper tender process inviting appropriate specialist companies to help them with the implementation of those decisions?