Cartoon draws out fears over beach plan

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A cartoon drawing of some children’s attractions which are set to be built in Scarborough has caused concern at the latest meeting of the council’s Planning and Development Committee.

The drawing, pictured right, shows the attractions, including water walkers, inflatable bumper boats and bungee trampolines, which will be built on a raised platform on the beach at Scarborough’s South Bay.

Local company Absolute Experience (Europe) Ltd was given planning consent to build the attractions by the planning committee at its latest meeting - but Cllr Amanda Robinson said she wasn’t happy with only being able to see a cartoon drawing of the proposal.

She said: “That drawing is better than some we’ve had but it doesn’t show exactly what we could be getting. I have to know what I’m voting for because we can be held to task by residents - and rightly so - if this turns out to be a mess.”

Rides have been located on the same section of beach since the 1950s, although not since 2010, according the council’s planning report.

The report states: “It is anticipated that the current proposal will be more visually attractive than the previous operation. The previous platform had quite a cluttered appearance with rides of different styles, ages and sizes. The current proposals seek to introduce rides that are modern and visually low key when viewed from a distance.”

The platform and the attractions, catering for children aged between three and 12, would only be located on the site during the tourist season between March and October, and for the rest of the year they would be removed from the site.

Planning officer Marcus Whitmore told the meeting he would recommend giving the operator permission to operate for five-years, but Cllr Robinson again expressed concern.

She said: “Five years is a long time and things can get dog-eared and tired. And what powers do we have to stipulate the standards of the site?”

Committee chairman Jane Mortimer said: “We own the land so if it’s not up to standard we have a legal recall. But if you want people to put money into into something to make it look good you have to give them a decent period of time.”

The raised platform is set to be 24 metres in length with a 12 metre width and would run parallel with Foreshore Road. The surface of the platform would be covered in synthetic grass. To compliment the other activities and help promote a family atmosphere, the fourth attraction is set to be crazy golf.

The council planning report also states: “Whilst the platform and rides adds to the visual clutter of the beach, it is considered that the current proposals improve on the previous development, whilst providing a new facility of modern rides that add to the leisure offer of the South Bay during the main tourist season.”

Chair Jane Mortimer joked that planning officers should try out the water walkers before they open to children.

The committee granted planning consent subject to conditions.