North Bay water park gets the go ahead after years of waiting

North Bay water park. Enclosed body slide
North Bay water park. Enclosed body slide

Council officers have welcome a recent move to finally approve plans for a new water park for Scarborough’s North Bay.

The news follows a decision by members of Scarborough Council’s Planning Committee to approve an application for the next phase of the Sands development.

David Archer, the council’s strategic director, said it was a major step forward and massive investment for the area.

He added: “£75 million will give a much needed boost for the local economy. It gives visitors yet another reason to visit Scarborough.”

Mr Archer said that officers were working closely with the developers and Scarborough’s Job Match initiative to make sure as many local people benefited from the promised employment and training opportunities.

He said that the development could attract an extra 300,000 visitors to the area which was “fantastic news”. “This will also add a first rate tourist attraction for local people,” he said.

Brian Bennett, the council’s head of tourism, said that he considered the development would make a “significant positive contribution” to tourism in the area.

He added: “The water park is the landmark tourism attraction which is central to the whole Sands strategic development project.

“It is the principle visitor attraction within the development which, along with previous phases of the project, will regenerate this part of the North Bay.”

Members had visited the area – which includes the former Mr Marvels, Kinderland and Burniston Road Car Park sites – ahead of last week’s meeting and they heard that Park and Ride buses from the A64 would stop at the attraction.

Hugh Smith, from the council’s planning department, said officers had considered issues, relating to the application, very thoroughly, and it was considered to be acceptable.

But Cllr Brian Watson asked whether Scarborough would still get a long-promised Olympic sized swimming pool. He said: “I am going to introduce an elephant into the room and it is going to blow its trumpet.

“10 years ago the people in this borough were promised a competition swimming pool. Weaponness had not been thought of when we started out on this journey and I want to know when we will get the competition pool?”

Jill Low, the council’s planning manager, said that this would not be known until the council published its leisure strategy. She added: “They are not part of this current planning application.”

Cllr Colin Haddington said he welcomed the application but added: “It’s a shame that the Olympic size pool isn’t in this application.”

However Cllr Amanda Robinson described the design as unimaginative and said: “It could have been designed in a better way – it deserves to be excellent.”

And Cllr Michael John Jay-Hanmer also criticised the design of planned holiday lodges as “plain” and added: “I am very relieved that, after all these years , something is going to come to fruition.”

The vote was majority with one abstention.