Cinema bids: Public debate is essential

Thank you for reporting verbatim Tom Fox’s reply to my question at council as to whether the North Street Car Park had been put on the market.

Covered with a lot of verbiage, he was in effect saying, ‘No, and I’m not telling you why not.’

I have since discovered a reason in the minutes of Scarborough Borough Council’s Cabinet of February 11, 2014, item 6 (ix): “that the decision to proceed with the sale of North Street Car Park be deferred until the outcome of the procurement exercise with potential developers for the Town Hall and wider site is known, allowing a more holistic approach to be taken in respect of the reshaping of the town centre.”

It is well known that the owners of the casino would like to build a multiplex cinema on the North Street site (and that the council cannot treat them as special purchasers but would have to market the site publicly).

Is it possible that some developer would like to build a cinema on the Futurist site? And meanwhile there is a planning application for a cinema on the former Atlantis site on North Bay.

Many Scarborough residents would love to see a multiplex cinema in the town. We need a debate among the public and in the council as to where it should be, as that could be important both for the success of the venture and for our local economy.

This would be a ‘holistic approach’, but I fear the actual outcome may be dictated by when sites become available and by national planning policy rather by what is best for Scarborough.

Cllr Dilys Cluer

Alexandra Park