COUNCILLORS have welcomed a new plan for Scarborough’s Sands development by voting unanimously to extend its existing development agreement.
The original agreement was due to expire in June and Scarborough Council held a special meeting yesterday to decide the next step.
Developer Roland Duce, from Abbey Commercial Investments Ltd, gave a presentation of his recently unveiled masterplan ahead of the meeting.
The new plan for the project was unveiled earlier this week and Mr Duce has given the completion of a waterpark his top priority.
Cllr Bill Chatt said he was originally sceptical but had been reassured by Mr Duce’s answer when he had asked whether the scheme would ever be finished.
He added: “He said ‘there’s no such thing as a 100 per cent guarantee but if it can it will be built’.”
Councillors had to decide whether to extend the existing development agreement to the new owners of Benchmark – the original developer which was taken over last June – or reject the proposals and re-tender the remainder of the Sands development site.
Cllr Janet Jefferson, the council’s portfolio holder for tourism and culture, said the new plan was what Scarborough needed.
She said: “It’s good for tourism and good for our residents. It’s good for the economy. I think we will be the envy of all coastal resorts.”
Cllr Jane Mortimer added: “I’m hoping to see the end of this. I can remember the start and it was a long time ago. It’s an opportunity to move forward. The project has evolved because that’s what people wanted.”
Cllr David Jeffels said: “We need to grasp this opportunity with both hands because we have a new owner prepared to give a commitment for a waterpark – an attraction which Scarborough needs if we are to remain in the Premier League of British seaside resorts.
“It ticks all the boxes, in terms of safeguards for both the council and the taxpayers and I hope the council will give it the full endorsement it deserves.”
Cllr Lucy Haycock said that it was important for the area’s residents. She said: “Without this project the Sands development would not be a success and that’s something we will have to remember.”
The first phase of the Sands included waterfront apartments and the Open Air Theatre, was completed by developers Benchmark.
Work on the waterpark, which has been on the agenda as part of the Sands Development since it was first proposed in 2002, could begin in June 2012 – with a completion date of November 2013.
Mr Duce said he was pleased with the outcome. He added: “I am absolutely delighted that the councillors see my vision, accept my realism and like what we are making a priority. Now the work begins.”