Councillors refuse changes to 'iconic' benches at Scarborough’s historic St Nicholas Shelters
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Scarborough councillors have partially rejected a plan for the seating at St Nicholas Shelters on Foreshore Road to be replaced with individual benches
The other repair works and general improvements to the spandrels, mainframe and posts were approved at the meeting on Thursday, November 9.
The application, submitted by North Yorkshire Council, stated: “The existing benches are relatively modern additions to the shelters, and therefore it is considered that their replacement with individual benches would not harm the special interest of the Grade-II listed shelters.”
However, councillors disagreed with the proposed installation of a total of 21 individual steel-framed benches that would be fixed within the two Edwardian tram shelters which were constructed between 1904-1907.
Coun Heather Phillips said: “Those benches are iconic. Why are we putting in individual benches, that will be just like any other part of the seafront?”
A planning officer said that the plan for the benches was “to tie in with the original shelters and the applicant has evidently undertaken significant research, including archive photos”.
However, Coun Phillips said: “The [current] benches are iconic and that is what 99 per cent of Scarborough will say the benches should be like.”
Chair of the planning committee, Coun Phil Trumper, said he believed that the proposal for individual benches “might provide better seating and there might be more space for people”.
Coun Subash Sharma said he also had “qualms” about the proposal for individual benches.
He added: “Having a single bench all the way across does give unity to the shelter and it reflects the economy of the period in which we’ve found ourselves – I would like it to remain like that.”
Coun Janet Jefferson said: “I think this shelter is well-used and has stood the test of time.
“I think it must be an improvement to its use, so as the councillor for the division, I do welcome this.”
The proposal was approved with an amendment requiring the submission of a plan “showing the retention of the single seats in each of the shelters”.