Scarborough Council approves in principle plans for restaurant and holiday lets below Scarborough Castle
Borough councillors have today given their in-principle support to controversial plans to build a restaurant and holiday lets in the shadow of Scarborough Castle.
The authority’s planning committee backed the scheme in Royal Albert Drive but it will only get final approval when more information on how the building will impact the stability of the slope to the rear of the site is received.
The approval came despite the objections of Historic England. The public body which aims to protect the country’s heritage had called the look and design of the glass-fronted eatery with 19 rooms “confusing” and urged planners to reject the proposal.
Cavendish and Gloucester Properties PLC lodged the plans for the site in Royal Albert Drive, which was formerly home to a cafe until it was demolished in 2017, with Scarborough Council in 2019.
The new building, designed by Scarborough-based Mick Paxton Architects, will bring permanent public toilets back to the seafront, one of the requirements of the council for development.
Ward councillor John Atkinson urged the committee to refuse the scheme, saying that it “looks like a World War Two pillbox” and said that after 10 years of being battered by the weather the building would be “an absolute mess”.
The committee, however, disagreed with his assessment and granted in-principle approval for the scheme.
Cllr David Jeffels said the building would be an “iconic statement” and rejected Cllr Atkinson’s description of the building as “grossly unfair”.
He said: “This is a bold development and the kind of quality development Scarborough needs in the 21st Century.
“It is good to see a vote of confidence being put into the town by a developer.
“The development is likely to trigger the confidence of other companies to invest in Scarborough as we hopefully come out of Covid.”
Cllr Clive Pearson added that he believed the building would be “an asset for Scarborough”.
Other members did have worries about the building with Cllr Theresa Norton raising concerns about how the site would be able to operate all year round due to the “wild” weather in the North Bay, with the road prone to overtopping waves and flooding.
The committee resolved to grant planning permission by 10 votes to three.
The approval is subject to the council’s engineers signing off on a slope stability report that will now be carried out by the applicant.
The scheme would then come back to the committee to be ratified at a later date.
English Heritage, the custodian of Scarborough Castle, did not offer an opinion on the development and 12 members of the public wrote to the council to object to the plans, with two people offering support to the proposal.