The Scarborough News
Thriller for Scarboro’ as cinema approved
North Bay multiplex plan now heads for Government decision
The people of Scarborough are closer than ever to getting the multiplex cinema they crave.
Benchmark Leisure’s resubmitted plans for a cinema and large-scale development on the former Atlantis site was granted permission by Scarborough Council’s planning committee last week.
The outline plans must still be signed off by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the design of the building must be agreed before the building work can begin.
The plans, which were refused permission earlier this year, were approved by 12 votes to four, with one abstention at the Town Hall meeting. They also include provision for shops and restaurants.
In the period that followed the refusal, the authority’s cabinet refused another attempt to release the North Street Car Park for tender in order to allow a competing town centre cinema bid to come back to council.
Cllr Eric Broadbent said that now North Street was “off the table” it left only North Bay as Scarborough’s last chance to get a cinema.
He added: “This development will kick-start the future of Scarborough and the North Bay.”
However, UKIP councillor Colin Haddington said the decision had been effectively taken out of the committee’s hands when the cabinet refused to put the North Street Car Park out to tender.
“We have been railroaded by the cabinet who have trampled over democracy and effectively overturned our [North Bay] refusal,” he said.
A spokesman for Benchmark Leisure told The Scarborough News that it was delighted it could now move on with the cinema plans.
He said: “We look forward to delivering this major investment in the town.
“We have been encouraged by the level of support for these proposals and, alongside the water park and other developments, the plans will provide a major economic boost for Scarborough.
“The new multiplex cinema and the other elements of the plans will provide new facilities for both residents and visitors and retain the many people who currently travel out of the town to visit a cinema.”
However, Nikolas Shaw, who was behind the North Street bid, said the council had let down the people of the town.
He said: “After eight years of hard work and a lot of negotiations with the council, as you can imagine, we are very disappointed. The surveys we had conducted, and indeed the surveys SBC carried out, all indicated that the town centre is the best location for a multiplex cinema.
“We feel that the £9 million loan Scarborough Borough Council has taken out on behalf of the people of the Borough will not nearly be enough to make the Sands Development work.
“Let’s hope this isn’t the case.
“At the end of the day we gave the North Street Development our best shot and, had the council been fair with us, the cinema project would have been up and running two to three years ago.
“Let’s hope it isn’t too much longer before the town does indeed get its much-needed cinema.
“Whether or not it is finally located at the North Bay remains to be seen, that is something that market forces will dictate.”
The shops and restaurants in North Bay cannot open before the cinema, as part of the conditions agreed at the meeting.
‘After eight years of hard work we are very disappointed’
Nikolas Shaw North Street Development Team