Lifeboat house recommended for approval

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Scarborough Council planning officers have recommended that the town’s new £3 million lifeboat station be given planning approval.

The controversial design will go before councillors on June 12 for a final decision.

The new lifeboat station will allow the charity to house its state-of-the-art £2m Shannon class lifeboat.

The current Mersey class lifeboat at Scarborough will be replaced next year by the newest member of the RNLI fleet, a Shannon class lifeboat.

Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon is 50 per cent faster than the Mersey class and can be launched more quickly using a launch/recovery vehicle called a Supacat which costs £1.5m.

Scarborough will be one of the first lifeboat stations to receive the Shannon and Supacat.

The Shannon is larger than the Mersey class lifeboat and need a bigger lifeboat station.

The new boathouse will be large enough to allow the Shannon lifeboat to be kept coupled to the launch vehicle, making launches much quicker than at present.

A space will be created to enable lifeguards to store equipment for summer beach safety patrols.

Andrew Ashton, RNLI divisional operations manager, said: “The new lifeboat station plans were conceived not only to provide the extra space needed to accommodate the new Shannon lifeboat, but also to upgrade the volunteer crew’s facilities to a standard befitting the next generation of lifesavers.

“The crew will have a superior space for interactive training, and they’ll also benefit from a state-of-the-art drying room for their kit, which will improve their comfort. The building will also utilise the latest eco-friendly technology, including a ground source heat recovery system.

“Members of the public have always been encouraged to visit the station, but now they will have the advantage of a more interactive experience in the encounter space’, where temporary exhibitions can take place. Visitors will also be able to see the new Shannon at her best from an enhanced viewing gallery. The station shop will be upgraded and developed too, which will make for an improved retail experience.”

John Senior, Scarborough RNLI operations manager, added: “We’re very excited about the plans for the new station, although naturally we’ll be sad to say goodbye to the current boathouse when the time comes. The building has a long and distinguished history, and it has certainly served us well in providing a base for saving lives at sea.”

Should permission be granted, it is hoped the new lifeboat station will be completed within a year. The new station has been designed by York architects Brierley Groom.