The leader of Scarborough Council has said there could be an update on the ‘Scarborough Eye’ very soon as he gets ready to meet with Flamingo Land to discuss its plans for the Futurist site.
Cllr Steve Siddons (Lab) said the observation wheel could be in place for the start of the full summer season after a number of tenders had been received.
The wheel would be a temporary fixture on the site, with Cllr Siddons saying he did not want an empty “eyesore” that could become a target for graffiti or illegal parking.
Observation wheel plan for Futurist site: see HERE
Speaking following today’s Full Council meeting, the leader also said he would be meeting with Flamingo Land.
During the meeting, he was pressed by Cllr Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff (Ind) on whether the council was locked into a legal agreement with the theme-park operator following its granting of preferred bidder status for the site.
Cllr Siddons said he had asked for clarification on the matter.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting the council leader added: “We are still unclear as to what Flamingo Land is proposing, we have seen these pretty pictures and talk of a rollercoaster, a tower that goes up and down and a big glass box but other than that we don’t really have any details .
“When I made the statement when I became leader that I wanted to look at everything Flamingo Land said they would put everything on hold to allow me to do that. We may choose to still go ahead with Flamingo Land, they may not choose to go ahead, who knows? But I have a better understanding [of the situation] so now is the time to talk to them about what they want to do.”
Asked if he could understand why many people wanted the site to be put out to tender again, Cllr Siddons responded: “You may look at it and ask why when we paid [for the demolition] why did we enter into an agreement with Flamingo Land? Why didn’t we just pay for it, demolish it and then put it out to tender? I don’t know the answer to that, that’s a question I have asked myself and I am not clear on whether that is something [the council] could have done. It would have made sense to me to do it that way but we are where we are.
“Flamingo Land are the preferred bidder and they have the right to put together a scheme and have it put before the council and put before planning. Depending on the outcome of that they will decide whether to go forward and, legally, we have to work with them on that.”
He added there had been “a number of bids” to put an observation wheel on the site.
He said: “If all goes well we hope to be in a position to announce very shortly if we are going to have a big wheel on the site. Hopefully, it will be there for the summer.”
The operator of the wheel could place it on the site for 28 days but would then require planning permission to extend its stay.