'Second time lucky’: Councillors approve proposal to develop former Scarborough swimming pool into major hotel
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Members of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee have given North Yorkshire Council the green light to move forward with a proposal to develop the town’s former indoor swimming pool site as a major hotel.
The plan will now move to the authority’s executive committee for approval with council officers stating that they hope to have the site on the market via a competitive tender process by the end of September.
It comes almost a year after Scarborough Council’s plan for the site to be turned into a £15m, four-star hotel by local businessman, Nick Thomas MBE, fell through following criticism of the then-North Yorkshire County Council which would have had to approve the sale.
Speaking at the committee meeting on Friday, June 9, Councillor Heather Phillips welcomed the new proposal and commended the authority for its “openness and transparency”.
She said: “Second time lucky hopefully on this.
“The first time it was not the model of openness and transparency and the new council’s treatment of this, as it should’ve been two years ago, is a good market approach and we are hopefully going to get plenty of interest.
She added: “What is not to like with this development?”
Councillor Tony Randerson said: “I’m absolutely delighted that this is back on the table.
“The original proposal was for a very high-class hotel and I really do hope this venture gets off the ground and it has my wholehearted approach.”
A report prepared for the meeting states that there remains “significant interest in the site for the purposes of high-quality hotel development” and that delivery of the North Bay masterplan remains a “key strategic focus for the future growth and prosperity of the town”.
The originally proposed scheme would have delivered £15m of private sector investment, more than 100 jobs created with living wage salaries, 70,000 additional overnight stays a year, and around £3.4m a year of additional visitor spending, according to the council.
The authority has said that expedient delivery of the scheme would provide “direct economic benefits through job creation, hospitality sector diversification, and growth”.
Members also called on the council to ensure that locals are included in consultations if the scheme proceeds, with council officers giving an “absolute commitment to engage locally”.
All but two members of the area committee voted for approval of the scheme, with councillors David Chance and Derek Bastiman, who sit on the authority’s executive body, abstaining from the vote.
A report recommending a competitive tender to procure a development partner for the site will now need to be approved by North Yorkshire Council’s executive committee
Council officers have stated that they want the site to be “on the market by the end of the summer”.