Hotel chief 'stunned' by planning decision

PLANS to put decking and fake stone in front of Scarborough's Crown Spa Hotel have been kicked out by the borough council's planning committee.

Bosses at the hotel, which is a Grade Two listed building, had applied for permission to surface its front forecourt with Heritage Yorkstone – a concrete based product – decking and planting beds, but the bid was rejected as councillors felt the changes were not fitting for a listed building.

The decision has left the hotel’s managing director Richard Frank “stunned”.

He said: “I’m disappointed and stunned by the decision. We went with the recommendations of the planning officers, so the result is a surprise.

“We’ve previously been given planning permission to have stainless steel on our front entrance, so I can’t see why two man-made materials can’t stand side by side. We’ll now have to go back to the planning department and ask again for recommendations – just as we’ve done before.”

In May last year there were public protests after the hotel erected a gazebo and some decking at the front of the building, with neighbours complaining that no other buildings on The Esplanade had any decking on their frontage.

Planning permission was not sought before last year’s work was carried out and a retrospective planning application was withdrawn in August after planning officials indicated it would not be acceptable.

Regarding the new application, Cllr Dorothy Clegg asked the meeting: “Considering the public outcry last year is the applicant trying to cock a snook at us?” She said she did not feel that either decking or Yorkstone were appropriate for the building.

Cllr Cecil Ridley added: “I think this prominent part of Scarborough deserves genuine York stone, not an imitation.”

Cllr Ann Preston said: “These plans are detrimental to the setting. I think that genuine stone should be used and there should be no decking.”