Scarborough Civic Society

May 2017 Planning Report

by Richard Ward

Last time I expressed the possibility of bats being an obstacle to the demolition of Hylands House at Filey Road. I can’t say for certain that bats were the reason, but I am pleased to report that the application has just been withdrawn and the building saved, at least for the time being.

The big planning issue this quarter has been the former Conservative Club in Huntriss Row. Following the Council’s decision to permit its demolition, various heritage bodies, including The Victorian Society, reacted vociferously and the result was the building become listed. This means any alteration to the building will need to be fully justified. By the date of the listing, the developer had already carried out work, but operations ceased whilst a rescue plan was conceived. An application has now been lodged for the retention of the Huntriss Row façade, the re-siting of some of the historical features and the demolition of most of the rest of the building. Realistically, this is a reasonable compromise between preserving the main plank of the heritage aspect and providing the economic re-use of an old building. However, we were disturbed to see that the previous plan to add a fourth storey to the Huntriss Row side had turned into a plan to add two storeys. Recognising that the addition of upper storeys to old buildings does not always work aesthetically (see for example the addition to the Crown Hotel on the Esplanade), we have objected to the grey-slated velux-windowed fourth and fifth floors on the basis that this would destroy the attractive roofline and give inappropriate bulk to the building.

Another significant development is the proposed multi-screen cinema for Newborough which has just been granted planning permission. This has led to newspaper comments about “cinema wars” as the promoters of both the Newborough and Sands schemes vie to be first to open. We supported the Newborough application as a town centre site for a cinema has always been our preferred option. We have also been pleased to support the planning application made by Dean Road Chapel for the restoration of the former cemetery chapel and its re-use as a community facility.

Our comments on the South Cliff stabilisation and Gardens re-working were not entirely favourable as we felt insufficient care was to be taken with gardens which are on the Historic Gardens Register.

The plan to build a new boarding house in the immediate vicinity of the listed Scarborough College was criticised for eating into the greenspace, for damaging the view of the College and because the design was weak.

And finally, in what has been a relatively busy period with numerous comments on minor applications being made to the planners, we were pleased to welcome two new traditional-styled timber fronted shop fronts, one at 12 Westborough and the other at 33 Huntriss Row.