Development: More costly than repairs

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I agree with your editorial comment of October 2 and Patricia David’s letter (October 9), concerning the town council’s intransigence over at least a decade where they have fought to destroy the Futurist.

The Futurist was briefly marketed for sale this summer. The council cabinet accepted secret bidder B’s bid. Bidder B’s submission is predicated upon certain conditions, to which the Conservative-led Cabinet have agreed “in principle”, in other words, a developer has said “jump” and they have responded “how high”. Business as usual. This bid was called-in by two councillors but after scant scrutiny the call-ins were rejected. Those conditions are very costly indeed to Scarborough Borough Council and include:

. “Demolition of the Futurist building, site clearance and stability of the slope to the rear, at its own cost”;

. “The inclusion of King Street Car Park”; (The car park site was not advertised for sale, nor is it legally part of the Lower Tier site).

. “The inclusion of a parcel of land within St Nicholas Gardens”; (That land was not for sale and is not part of the Futurist development site).

The fourth condition calls on the borough council to approve the creation of public access between the town hall and Futurist sites at the borough council’s expense.

This will cost vastly more than would the restoration and renovation of the Futurist Theatre.

I have emailed Cllr Fox asking if Scarborough can afford to pay for this costly bid but received no reply.

If, following the two call-ins, this does not go back to full council, then six Conservative councillors chosen by their party leader, and their supportive non-elected officers, will make the momentous decision to demolish the Futurist - not the 50 councillors referred to in the editorial as “far beyond necessity”. Their terms of office run out soon and a monumental headache will await the new council. Destruction of the Futurist will be an onerous burden and legacy.

Nor, of course, will the decision be made by the thousands of people who have petitioned and fought so hard over the years to save the Futurist.

Daphne Barr

Prince of Wales Terrace