Lodging a plan

A SCARBOROUGH councillor is hoping to unveil a plan to bring one of the town’s empty historic building’s back into use until it can be sold.

Londesborough Lodge, in The Crescent, was originally put up for sale by Scarborough Council in 2009 but the move was put on hold last November because of the worldwide economic crisis.

And since then the property has become the focus for antisocial behaviour because the secluded land around the building provides the perfect hiding place for vandals.

But Cllr Colin Challen said he hoped to find suitable tenants and gradually bring it back into use on a room by room basis. He said: “I hope to have the plan ready in a week or two. We could find temporary occupants for the building, room-by-room, and we will keep it safe and warm maybe for three years until the economy picks up.

“It’s a question of making sure it’s safe and monitored and doesn’t fall into decrepitude. There’s a good chance that it will become derelict – there’s a need for a plan B.”

In August members of the council’s Planning and Development Committee deferred a decision to approve a planning guidance document for land next to the lodge – planning officers had hoped that options covering the development of the grounds could make a sale more likely.

Cllr Challen agreed that, while there would be insufficient parking spaces it would be wrong to develop the land. He said: “It’s a public right of way. We need to get somebody interested who has got millions of pounds to do it up.”

The new planning guidance document was once again due to be discussed by the planning committee on Thursday but was withdrawn at the eleventh hour.

Adrian Perry, the chairman of the Scarborough and District Civic Society, had also previously criticised a suggestion that the land could be developed for extra car parking spaces.

He welcomed the suggestion of bringing back into use. He added: “The scandal at the moment is the condition of the property. It’s quite clear that it’s being used as a party location.”