Scarborough Council receives objection to proposed adult amusement centre in town

Scarborough’s civic society has urged the borough council to throw out plans for an adult amusement centre in the heart of the town centre.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 11:41 am

The guardians of Scarborough’s heritage feel that the centre would have a “negative” impact on the amount of people coming to the shopping district and would work against a £20 million scheme to overhaul the town.

Shipley Estates Ltd has applied to Scarborough Council to turn 9 Westborough, which is currently home to Vape Safe, into what is described as an “amusement centre” for over 18s.

The submission states: “The proposal is for an adult only amusement centre consisting of gaming machines.

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The proposed site for the new adult amusement centre. Picture: JPI Media

“Such establishments are found in most shopping centres, including shopping centres in seaside resorts. They have different effects from amusement arcades as planning policy recognises. There is a statutory obligation to exclude under 18s.

“Premises such as this are no noisier than a shop and they would be suitable neighbours on the street in this location.”

Scarborough Civic Society has now lodged an official objection with the borough council, which will be responsible for deciding the application’s fate.

In the letter, the society says that the plan could undermine the work being carried out to transform Scarborough after a £20.2 million grant from the Government’s Town Fund, money from which is being used to make the town centre more attractive and welcoming.

The proposed site for the new adult amusement centre. Picture: JPI Media

The letter states: “Introducing a different service into a primary shopping area will change the clientele and may have a negative impact on footfall being detrimental for the remaining retailers.

“The town has plenty of venues for gambling, mainly the seafront and the casino in town.

“Another such venue would not offer any further benefit to the town. We now have empty shops in that part of town which is a matter of concern.

“However, we also have the Town Deal Funding and the Town Deal Board working with the council to develop the festival square, plan to repurpose the Brunswick Centre and much else.

“We should not feel obliged to allow this sort of conversion which is working against our long term aims to improve this part of town when we already have enough of these sort of gambling operations.”

North Yorkshire Police has not objected to the plans but has suggested that it should operate over the same hours as a similar gaming centre in Falsgrave Road.

It would see the centre be allowed patrons from 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday and from 9am until 6pm on Saturday. The police suggest that it should be closed on Sundays.

The plans remain out to consultation.