Extra time for cinema scheme

Drop Folder News. Pic Kevin Allen.'North Street Car Park.'072741
Drop Folder News. Pic Kevin Allen.'North Street Car Park.'072741

LONG-AWAITED plans to build a multiplex cinema, hotel, shops and restaurants in a Scarborough town centre car park could be set to take another step forward.

Nikolas Shaw Ltd has expressed its hope to press ahead with the ambitious plans after it was awarded the town’s small casino licence earlier this year when rivals Apollo Leisure pulled out of the bidding process.

Artist impression of Opera House Casino cinema plan North Street

Artist impression of Opera House Casino cinema plan North Street

Planning permission for the development in North Street Car Park was originally granted in July 2008.

But as yet no start has been made on the scheme, the applicant has applied to Scarborough Council’s planning committee for a three-year extension.

Planning manager Jill Low said: “The proposal relates to a multi-storey development having a gross floor area of 8,518 sq metres with accommodation arranged over six floors with an underground car park arranged over two levels.”

However, Mrs Low said new issues had arisen since 2008 which needed to be considered, although council officers are recommending that permission be granted at Thursday’s meeting, subject to a number of conditions.

She added that the county council had raised safety concerns over the junction of St Thomas Street and Castle Road and it has been recommended that the developers, North Street Development, should make a financial contribution towards improvements there.

Ms Lawton said: “An assumption was made in 2008 that the junction of St Thomas Street and Castle Road would in due course be signalised by the Highway Authority, vastly improving the pedestrian crossing facilities and that this work would be funded as part of Scarborough Integrated Transport Scheme.

“Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, this element of the scheme has been removed although the concerns associated with pedestrian safety still remain paramount at this junction.

“It is therefore considered acceptable in this case to seek an additional financial contribution from the developer of £11,500 towards improvements at this junction – increasing the likelihood of the county council being able to implement improvements to St Thomas Street/Castle Road within the medium to long term.”

The scheme has been met with some opposition during a public consultation period.

Mr and Mrs C S Rogers, from North Street, said: “We do think it is a good idea and location for a multi-cinema in town, although we have concerns that our views to the castle will be obstructed, also the small amount of sunshine we have on the front may be blocked by the cinema.”

Yasar Demir, also from North Street, said: “I think this is a great idea and will be nice to have something new in Scarborough for residents and also tourists – I am looking forward to it.”

But another North Street resident said: “I object to the proposal as it will reduce light to the property, car parking will be awkward. The cinema will cause loud noise in the street, a multi-cinema in the middle of town will affect the future of the Futurist cinema.”

Rachael Holliday, of North Street, said: “I believe the town has plenty of the facilities this development intends to create. Town centre shops are becoming empty nationally with the trend likely to continue, providing more retail floor space must speed this up.

“My main reason for speaking out against this development is a wish to keep North Street Car Park – it provides a very popular place to leave your car while shopping and has now matured into a very attractive green space in the town centre.”

Should the extension be given the go-ahead, a further decision will need to be taken by the planning committee on the appearance and layout of the scheme before any work can be started.