Scarborough Council approves £383,000 plan to replace South Bay beach chalets damaged by wall collapse

Scarborough Council’s cabinet has unanimously approved plans to begin the rebuild of 10 new beach chalets in the South Bay.

The South Bay chalets were damaged when a retaining wall collapsed in 2018.
The South Bay chalets were damaged when a retaining wall collapsed in 2018.

The original grade II listed chalets were damaged, or had to be demolished on safety grounds, when a retaining wall collapsed in 2018. Work to stabilise the wall started in 2020 and was completed last year.

The cabinet approved an investment of £383,000 from the council’s local investment fund for construction works next to the Clock Café, near Scarborough Spa, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Cllr Liz Colling, Scarborough Council's deputy leader, said: "I know that this is really much-wanted and welcomed by both residents and visitors to the town, particularly the businesses and residents in the South Bay."

The retaining wall collapse caused considerable damage, forcing the chalets to be removed on health and safety grounds.

Chris Bourne, Scarborough Council's project manager, told the meeting that because the chalets that collapsed were previously listed, any chalets that are reinstated must reflect the previous design.

The work will require the use of a specialist architect to design them and meet conservation rules - with the goal of securing support from English Heritage.

However, it was revealed that the facilities of the chalets can be improved with access to water, drainage, electricity and modern kitchens.

Cabinet was asked to consider whether the chalets should be sold on the open market, retained and rented out or a combination of both.

Scarborough Council has now approved initial plans to begin rebuilding the chalets.

Councillors favoured a weekly rental system, to make the chalets available to as many people as possible.

Cllr Colling said: "I would like all our chalets to be available to as many different people as possible, that includes visitors, but also our residents and I do know that many residents use the opportunity, particularly in the 'shoulder months', to book a chalet."

A report prepared for the cabinet said that the previous chalets were rented on an annual basis, however, a test model on the yearly North Bay rate of £1,700 per annum found that rents in the South Bay do not return a profit, and therefore an annual rent is not viable, nor would they qualify for investment.

The meeting heard that the 10 new chalets are set to be rented at the North Bay rates of £140 per week, subject to approval.

Marc Cole, Scarborough Council's director, said: "We've always had an ambition to reinstate the chalets lost when the wall collapsed.

"Work to fix that is now finished, so we have the opportunity to begin the reinstatement. The new chalets will be a considerable upgrade to the originals but will be carefully designed."

Plans for new chalets are set to go before planning officers in December 2022 with construction set to begin in February 2023.