Wait for North Bay cinema goes on... here's why

Scarborough’s long-wait for a multiplex cinema will go on after concerns over flooding delayed the latest attempt to get it built.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 2:25 pm
The North Bay cinema site.
The North Bay cinema site.

Scarborough Borough Council’s planning committee met today to assess the third application for the six-screen attraction on the site of the former Atlantis water park in the town’s North Bay.

The authority’s planning officers had recommended the scheme be approved but an 11th-hour objection threw a spanner into the projector.

The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) wrote to the council saying it could not support the scheme due to concerns about the impact the development could have in an area that was prone to flooding. The LLFA response arrived at the council just hours before today’s planning meeting was due to start.

Yorkshire Water also submitted an objection on similar grounds.

Following advice from planning officers planning committee chairman Cllr Eric Broadbent put the deferral to an immediate vote, which was passed unanimously.

The decision marks the latest twist in what has become a lengthy saga for the town’s bid for a multiplex.

Earlier this year, Benchmark Leisure announced it was delaying the proposed opening date of the cinema complex for the third time, blaming the difficulties in securing restaurants to be part of the scheme.

The development was due to be open in 2018, that was then pushed back until July 2019 and then, most recently, changed to late 2020.

As the plans were then amended again, new planning permission from Scarborough Borough Council is needed before any building work can begin.

The deferred scheme is for a six-screen cinema with 53 apartments, a gym, sky bar, five restaurants and five retail units.

There would be 71 car parking spaces, with 12 reserved for staff of the businesses. The plans originally approved had more than 300 public parking spaces.

The applicant will now be given the chance to address the flooding concerns before the plans come back to the planning committee at a later date.