Double Vision or Blind as a ...

Captain Qahn's picture

The SN has escalated the controversial decision on the Town's Cinematic Future into a political 'story' with its front page and leading story:

Accompanied by a very interesting letter by Gordon Sommerville.

"Why should any future developer want to invest in the town centre, when they know the council might undermine their investment?"

Who? A hypocrit thats who ...

5th October 2006: Decision on Application - 38 Residentail Units for Holiday use and including ... the retention of buildings from the former Kinderland operation - Applicant Benchmark Properties

bla blah your representations ... blah blah ... please note that when a decision has been made bla blah ... no right of appeal. Yours faithfully, G Somerville, Head of Planning Services

Enc Decision on Applications - Conditions Attached to the Approval - Boundary Treatments to Site Hoardings ... Condition 33 - Amusements ... there shall be no more than two coin or token operated amusement, cash prize or bingo machines within the cafe and indoor play area to be retained.

That followed a complaint made to the SFO passed to the Local Govt. Ombudsman dated 4th May 2006 followed by a 4th August 2006  "I am sorry but have still not been able to allocate your complaint to an investigator ..." followed by a LGO letter1st September 2006 "We wrote some weeks ago explaining your complaint was in a queue .... whilst your case has moved up the queue I still am unable to allocate it and cannot offer a clear date when that willl happen ..."

Complaint?   Complaint No 323 - The Sands at North Bay, Scarborough - From SBC dated 2 March 2006 (Eh?)

The LGO has passed to the Council a copy of your letter dated 14th February

Background - In 1996 the concept for a major development in the North Bay .....

In January 1999 a company Grayling Sports & Leisure Ltd was selected as preferred developer/partner....    (unable to deliver).  A Further marketing exercise was undertaken and in August 2001 Benchmark Leisure was chosen as the Council's new developer/partner to assemble a detailed and commercially viable proposition ... In December 2002 .... detailed appraisals of a Masterpland and Viability Assessment .... In October 2004 outline planning consent was granted.   In October 2005 three applications for reserved matters were registered.  

Specific Issues?

The objective ... the achievement of a commercially viable development .... adopted as a renaissance project by the Town Team set up to manage the Scarborough Renaissance Initiative. ... This initiative was advertised openly in local and specialist media and included the site that would be available.

Has the Land been valued, if so how much?   Humberts Leisure provided valuation advice to the Council to support the Council's own prefessional qualified valuers.   In addition Grant Thornton, gave advice upon the status of Benchmark.   This advice formed the financial arrangement with Benchmark that will provide a payment to the Council relative to the areas of land taken for each phase followed by a share of the development profit....It is likely that the arrangement will ultimately provide a financial return to the Council than would a simple land sale.

Why can't the Council sell the land on the open market and use the money to build its own new pool and leisure facilities?  The Council could have .... but chose to engage a private developer to deliver a commercially viable mixed leisure and residential scheme and thereby tap into skills available only to such a partner.

Why is the Council giving away this land?  The developer has already paid a non returnable deposit and will make further payments as each phase is completed and after the development is completed.

The developers promise to build an indoor pool complex using profits from the build and sale of flats.... How much does a new pool complex cost? What about a shortfall in finance?

The intitial development appraisal which was provdied as part of the Development Agreement completed in Dec 202 demonstrates that the proposal is a mix of parts that are commecially viable and parts that require a subsidy but overall the scheme is viable.   Current estimates show that this is likely to cost £20m ... there will be no overall shortfall.

Why does the Council believe that giving away this land will raise a profit?

As explained ... the land is not being given away.

Why is the Council acting so deviously implying an outcome of a leisure complex which is not realistic or achievable? The Council is not acting deviously... it has obtained expert professional advice.

The development is essentially a housing development, why don't they say this?   The plans show that the proposals are a mix of leisure, commercial and residential ... Housing is an important element but is only part of the whole scheme. 

Should the development go ahead who would live in these new flats and holiday homes? The residential units are a mix of tenure .... private units, buy to let units that will be managed by a specialist operator and holiday units that will be managed by a specialist operator.

What about the drain on local resources?   These are issues that are common to any development ...

Would they be holiday makers that used to stay in local hotels and guest houses?  The prinicple objective is to help regenerate Scarborough.  

Graham Price. Head of Property Services.

9th March 2006

'Thank you ... Your letter of 2nd March raises further questions.  My main concern is the list of companies calling themselves Benchmark, Benchmark Leisure, Benchmark Properties, Benchmark Northern et al .  No doubt ...  no profit ,,, no pool.... Most other Town Councils provide an indoor pool for their residents and tourists without giving masses of valuable land away.  Was Bourne Leisure or First Leisure or any other experienced Leisure developer approached.  ....  believe the Council has a duty to ensure that the land is used to its best potential, or sold to the highest gain.  If that is for housing then so be it, then why not sell it as housing land?   Why mask it behind a leisure development.  You say that Benchmark have already paid a sum of money for the land? How much exactly, because Benchmark say they are getting the land for free as do the local press.

... the development will consist of flats along the coastline, flats along Peasholm Park, holiday homes on Kinderland and housing (buy to lets) on Burniston Car Park. ....  most of the flats will be sold to retirement age people...  I do not believe that the resident of these new builds will be the sort of people that require use of toboggan runs, family cafe bars and retail outlets ..

... common sense dictates a failed long term outcome of this development ... the Council has neither the discipline or responsibility to retstrict the proposed development by Benchmark. ...  the Council has neither the courage or foresight to extract itself from such a stupid scheme  ... .'

Anyhow, its all ancient history, other than 'visitors' have been asking where the new retirement village on the North Bay is  ... Oh you must mean the Sands Development.  No it is part of that but it hasn't been built yet.  We've seen it advertised and thought we'd pop over to have a look.  Oh, thats interesting ...  did they say where?  Peasholm Park.

Prefabricated. Blinkers on.

Must get out more: Another of Scarboroughs well hidden treasures (and haunting grounds) :-))





Benefitz Betty's picture

SBC: Paving Over the 'Proactive'


Ooooh. I feel a reaction coming on ...

£5mil for 'gardening'?

"The Friends of South Cliff Gardens are working on a £5 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and improve the gardens. For more information and the latest news please see the “HLF bid” page or visit and Like the Facebook on the link below:... "

Erm ...  tooth fairies?

The Cliff is falling down... tis a cracker :-)\

Benefitz Betty's picture

An Image of Opportunists?

"Draft proposals are currently being drawn up by a partnership of Scarborough Borough Council, Groundwork and the Friends of South Cliff Gardens, with support from specialist consultants Oobe Ltd. Plans will be exhibited for the public to comment on in early July.

In the meantime, people are being asked to support the bid by telling the partnership their memories of the gardens by submitting old photos and postcards and general pictures, stories or comments. One of the key requirements of making a successful bid is showing what the gardens mean to people and how much they value them."

Oobe? What about the gnomes...

"Cllr. Mike Cockerill, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Harbours, Assets, Coast and Flood Protection said:

“This is a golden opportunity for South Cliff Gardens and potentially the biggest thing to happen there in over a century. The fact that the project would follow on and add great value to the vital Spa cliff stabilisation works only helps to make this the perfect time for such a landmark project.”

Indeed, not many South Cliff homeowners have gardens :-)

pmsl Oobi I Kinobe ...

Awesome ... yet not quite the Academy ...

Benefitz Betty's picture

Dead Sea - Drying

"The Dead Sea, the salty lake located at the lowest point on Earth, is gradually shrinking under the heat of the Middle Eastern sun. For those who live on its shores it's a slow-motion crisis - but finding extra water to sustain the sea will be a huge challenge.

If there's one thing everyone knows about the Dead Sea it is that you can't sink in it...

...It is an exciting place to be a scientist, says Dr Gidi Baer of the Geological Survey of Israel. Dr Baer says geologists are getting better at predicting where sinkholes are going to open - which is important when you consider that there are several busy roads running around the coastline. But the problem's getting worse.

"The number's not linear," he told me. "It's growing and accelerating. This year, for example, about 700 sinkholes formed, but in previous years the number was lower. In the 1990s it was a few dozen, now it's hundreds."


Captain Qahn's picture

Garden Consultation Open

Something soft to sleep on ...

"The £6.5 million scheme is planning to make a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Parks for People programme in autumn 2016 and if successful, work could start in 2018-19.

The project is a collaboration between Scarborough Borough Council, The Friends of South Cliff Gardens and Groundwork North Yorkshire.

Groundwork North Yorkshire’s Tom Mutton, Project Manager for the bid said:

“I think these first stage plans strike the perfect balance between restoring the precious heritage elements of the site and providing new features to bring people back into the park. South Cliff Gardens is such a beautiful and unique place but its condition is deteriorating to a point where it is at real risk of being lost and forgotten. This project could breathe new life into the gardens and make them fit for the 21st Century, attracting many more generations of locals and visitors to enjoy this wonderful green space.”

The plans can be viewed on the projects website and will also be available for viewing at drop in sessions later in the week.

  • Saturday 2 July 10.00am to 4.00pm at Scarborough Spa
  • Monday 4 July 9.00am to 5.00pm at Scarborough Town Hall"

Mind, when the doors no longer  close ... somethings shifted.... could be a draft. 

Gardening.... theres a gnome ..

Oooh Will Young ;-)


Benefitz Betty's picture

The Pledge

Ah, so ...

"North Yorkshire County Council has agreed to spend an additional three quarters of a million pounds in Scarborough in a bid to achieve better educational outcomes and life chances for children and young people in the area.

In what has been called the Scarborough Pledge, the county council has committed a further £750,000 from its general working balances over the next three years to work in partnership with business and school leaders to raise aspirations and improve prospects for children and young people in the area.

The Pledge will translate into a better deal through a number of forward-thinking initiatives and a community-wide shift in attitude about expectations for the area’s young people."

Skulking ...

Captain Black's picture

Academy of Awesome

"11:24am 31st August 2017

Sirius Minerals, the company behind the Whitby Potash Mine, has launched a programme aimed at careers for young people.

A series of learning resources have been created to support careers advice in schools and to boost the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. 

The programme is open to schools across the area and teaching staff will have the opportunity to 'cherry-pick' themes based on topics students are studying in the syllabus. 

Teachers can work with the Sirius Minerals outreach team to develop programmes aimed at young people, including career talks and STEM-related activities..."

Bamboo Scaffolding ;-)