Campaigners claim grave could halt Futurist development

The Futurist .Remembering .Picture Richard Ponter 140213a
The Futurist .Remembering .Picture Richard Ponter 140213a
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An old burial site on land behind the Futurist Theatre could threaten development of the area - campaigners claim.

The Friends of the Futurist claims it has evidence which shows a restrictive covenant was placed on the land in the early part of last century by the owner and developer of the Futurist Theatre Complex, Will Catlin.

It is believed the grave on the site belongs to his younger brother Tom, who worked with him at the theatre and who died aged 39 in 1923.

However, Scarborough Council says it believes it will not be an impediment to its plans.

Chairman of the Friends group, Patricia David, said: “This covenant states that this piece of land should not be disturbed without the written consent of the Catlins.

“Although this information was discovered last summer, it was essential that any living members of Will Catlin’s family be traced so that we could find out exactly what this is.

“As a result of our collaboration over the last nine months, seeking and sharing all available legal and family information regarding this Restrictive Covenant on this small but significant part of the land, we have been able to establish with reasonable legal certainty that this is the grave of Tom Catlin.

“However, it is up to the council as to whether a scientific forensic examination will be undertaken without in any way contravening the requirements of this covenant.”

The grave plot was defined and marked by a plain stone slab and was located last month in some overgrowth.

Lisa Dixon, Scarborough Borough Council’s Director of Democratic and Legal Services said: “We are aware of a clause in a 1961 conveyance prohibiting the disturbance of a concrete slab situated at the rear of the Futurist theatre without the consent of the seller at that time, Catlins Scarborough Entertainments Limited (later Futurist Enterprises Limited). This company was dissolved in 1989.

“We have seen no evidence that the benefit of the agreement has been transferred to any other party. Neither have we seen any firm evidence to suggest that the slab is in any way connected with a grave.

“At this stage, there is no reason to suggest that this will hinder the development of the site.”