A founder of a group which is campaigning to transform derelict land has accused Scarborough Council of wasting money on resurfacing a depot earmarked for closure.
Neil Kipling, from the North Side Community Improvement Group, said he was “gobsmacked” when he spotted the work being carried out at the Dean Road site last week.
He believes the time and money could have been better spent on transforming the derelict football changing rooms at Barrowcliff playing fields into a new hub for residents - a scheme the group has been trying to push forward for months.
“The annoying thing is even though the site is earmarked for Tesco, the council has spent thousands on resurfacing when, if the supermarket goes ahead, they are going to level the place anyway. What a big waste. It’s just beggars belief,” said the Northstead resident.
“We are not talking about thousands here, all we are asking for is 30 man hours, a couple of skips and maybe a small digger to clear the site. It’s not a big ask in the scheme of things. “
The council has agreed to spend £3.69 million on moving its depot to a former gas board site at the Queen Margaret’s Industrial Estate.
The development will be funded by Tesco after the authority formerly agreed to sell the site to the supermarket, which is gearing up to start work on building a new megastore after the scheme was given the go-ahead in December 2011.
It has already set the wheels in motion in relocating to the new site - with £220,000 earmarked to fund the initial planning and design of the new depot. However, the council has admitted that plans to spend the money and push forward with building the new facility carries a risk due to Tesco awaiting permission to partially close Trafalgar Street West - a road which runs through the development. Last week the Government announced it was launching a public inquiry into the road closure, following a wave of objections.
Steve Reynolds, the council’s environment and countryside manager, said: “The likelihood is that we will still be operating out of the depot for a good number of months given the current progress of the proposed Tesco development. The depot’s road surface is subject to a lot of wear from the heavy vehicles that go in and out of it each day - defects can damage our vehicles and be hazardous to our staff. It has been necessary to carry out resurfacing in order to continue to provide an environment that allows us to run the various depot-based services in a safe and efficient way.”