£22m flats plan at Scarborough's old Argos store is redesigned after 'eyesore' criticism

A proposed £22 million scheme to build 200 flats for students and key workers in Scarborough has been redesigned following criticism of its appearance.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 11th January 2021, 4:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 2:44 pm

Last year, Buccleuch Property (Scarborough) Limited submitted a planning application to Scarborough Council for the demolition and redevelopment of the former Argos building in Newborough.

The project is being backed financially by Scarborough Council and will provide new retail units on the ground floor and accommodation for 52 in-training NHS doctors and nurses from Scarborough Hospital and 150 university students on the upper levels.

The scheme has been developed with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Scarborough Hospital, and CU Scarborough, part of the Coventry University Group.

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The original plans for the former Argos

A number of objections were received to the original plans, including from the town’s civic society which said the scheme would replace one “eyesore” with another.

In response, Buccleuch told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the planning application had been changed following the feedback.

A spokesman for the company said: “We understand the importance of the site and have taken great care to make sure our proposal fits within the character and setting of the surrounding area.

“We engaged with Historic England and Scarborough Borough Council over several months and they have provided invaluable feedback that we have taken on board and integrated into the forthcoming designs.

The new proposal for the former Argos site.

“The proposal has taken cues from the historic buildings in the town, which has created a cohesive development that makes a positive contribution to the conservation area and the setting of the nearby listed buildings.

“We have welcomed comments made by members of the public and stakeholders in response to the application and our architects have significantly added to the richness of the elevational treatment to ensure the new building harmonises with the proposed new Town Square and the conservation area.”

One of the original objections to the scheme came from six former planning advisors, who all at one stage worked for borough council,

The sextet have now also objected to the new design.

Jonathan Allison, Gordon Somerville, David Williams, David Green, Chris Hall and Tony Wilson signed a fresh letter of objection to Scarborough Council which states: “Nothing has changed.

“The architects have merely chosen to dress up the same building in a different set of clothes, using a number of architectural details to try and persuade us all (again) that, somehow, the proposed building will now fit in with its immediate surroundings. It will not.”

A number of public objectors have also raised the issue of the lack of parking for the 200 flats as well as the size of the building as to why it should be refused by planners.

The plans remain out to consultation.