Scarborough seafront restaurant and holiday lets on Royal Albert Drive 'can be approved', despite several objections

Controversial plans to build a restaurant and holiday lets in the shadow of Scarborough Castle have been recommended for approval by council planners, despite objections from Historic England.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 4:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th October 2020, 4:06 pm

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.

Following a number of objections, changes were made to the scheme to reduce its impact. Historic England called the new plans a “significant improvement” but still said it could not support the scheme.

The proposed restaurant and holiday lets would be beneath the castle

The new building, designed by Scarborough-based Mick Paxton Architects, would bring permanent public toilets back to the seafront, one of the requirements of the council for development.

Scarborough Council’s own in-house Conservation Officer has raised concerns about the size of the building and the Highway Authority has also urged the council to refuse the application due to the lack of on-site parking.

Despite these concerns, which also include a warning from Scarborough Council’s own engineers about the stability of the slope behind the building and the flood risk, when the authority’s planning committee meets next week it will be told the plans can be approved.

Planning officers, in a report to the committee, say that subject to receipt of a report on slope stability and foundation design that is acceptable to the council’s engineers, councillors can “resolve” to approve the scheme.

Artist's impressions of the plan

A number of other conditions would also be attached that would require further information on parking, flooding and other matters to be agreed upon before work could begin.

The planning committee report states: “Following the amendments that have taken place since early pre-application discussions commenced, your officers consider that the detailed design of the proposal responds positively to the local context, in terms of its scale, form, height, materials and architectural detailing; the building having been reduced to one and two storey elements, which would nestle into the landscape.

“The reduced scale of the amended proposal is considered appropriate for the setting and would ensure the building does not compete with the impressive topography and historic buildings that sit above and behind the site.”

English Heritage, the custodian of Scarborough Castle, did not offer an opinion on the development.

The location of the proposal

The council’s report adds: “Having spent a considerable amount of time considering the visual impact of the proposal in views of the Castle Headland, it is not considered that the visual impact would be of any great significance, particularly when compared to the visual impact of the previous building on the site, which was not considered to be harmful to the setting of the castle or neighbouring listed building, sitting high above the site.”

A further 12 people wrote to object to the plans, with two people offering support to the proposal.

Artist's impressions of the plan