'Sporting excellence' bid for Scarborough is shelved as the developer, John Guthrie's family company, withdraws plans

An ambitious scheme to transform Scarborough into “a centre for sporting excellence” could be in tatters after the developer withdrew the plans.

In 2017 Scarborough Council, independent school Scarborough College and property developer Broadland Properties Ltd announced a collaboration for new sporting facilities in the Filey Road area of the town.

It was hoped it would lead to the creation of an international competition standard athletics track on the former Bramcote School playing fields to the south of the town centre, as well as six state-of-the-art tennis courts and bowling facilities nearby, on land between Deepdale Avenue and College Lane.

The scheme would have replaced the facilities that were lost when the Filey Road Sports Centre closed, the site of which would have been developed by Broadland Properties to create approximately 50 new homes and apartments.

The former Filey Road sports centre

It has now emerged that Broadland, run by millionaire John Guthrie and his family, has withdrawn the three separate planning applications that made up the scheme, sending the plans back to the drawing board.

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Richard Guthrie, director of Broadland Properties Ltd, said the planning application had simply “run into the ground” though he hoped that the athletics facilities could still be salvaged.

He said: “Unfortunately, there were a number of objections to the planning application. It was a four-site planning development proposal and as a consequence, there were always going to be nuances.

Athletics track plan

“Given the objections, which included Sport England and Natural England and also issues around the Section 106 agreements, Scarborough Council’s planning officers told us they could not recommend it for approval in its current format.

“So the general scheme has fallen away, but I am still hoping to work up something on the athletics side on the Bramcote site.

“My main focus for the scheme has always been around the athletics as I think it would be what’s best for the town, school and the community.”

Scarborough Council has been approached for comment on the withdrawal.

South Cliff Bowls Club

When the scheme was announced in 2017 Scarborough Council’s then-leader, Cllr Derek Bastiman, hailed it as a new dawn for sport in the town.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Broadland Properties and Scarborough College on the plans, which signal the start of a new legacy for sporting excellence in Scarborough.

“We admire the Guthrie family’s passion for the borough, which mirrors the council’s ambitious agenda and we can’t wait to get started on taking these plans to the next stage.

“Together with the recently opened Scarborough Sports Village and the brand new squash facilities under development at Scarborough Rugby Club, we truly believe Scarborough will become the best place in the UK, if not Europe, for sporting facilities, for the size of the town.”

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