IF EVER there was a case of looking a gift horse in the mouth then this was it.
How could the Lords Feoffees plans for a multi-story car park on the site of their present car pack in Beck Hill in Bridlington town centre be turned down by the council’s planning committee?
Announced last year it was backed to the hilt by most residents, local businesses, the town council and civic society and anyone with a grain of sense.
Staggeringly, it was “put on the back burner” by East Riding of Yorkshire council who had concerns it didn’t fit in with their Area Action Plan vision for the town’s future - if it ever happens - and would spoil the design and aesthetics of the new route to the sea front.
What lies at the end of this supposed aesthetically pleasing and beautiful dream highway to our seafront?
One of the ugliest lumps of masonry for miles, the multi-storey Ebor Flats, and guess who allowed that to be built. Somehow aesthetic appeal and Ebor Flats don’t seem to fit together.
Discussions between the council and the Feoffees failed to find common ground for their multi-story scheme, so it reached an impasse. The Feoffees claim what the council wanted them to do was to create a smaller, tighter multi-story car park on the site which would cost too much to build and would be too small to be economically viable.
People have been crying out for town centre parking for donkey’s years. The Feoffees existing car park, one of the cheapest and certainly the busiest off-street car parks around, is a heavily relied on by local people and town centre workers.
Most days it is difficult to get into, something I could never say about Moorfield Car Park.
The council has a revenue interest in its existing off street car parks, not to mention the supposedly successful Park and Ride at Wilsthorpe.
The Feoffees car park would have cost the ratepayers nothing to build. It would be manned, offer subsidised parking charges, and would have been welcomed with open arms.
I do not believe the AAP is “set in stone”.
It has already been tweaked, changed and altered. It is supposed to be a flexible plan. I have even less faith that what it proposes will be achieved for years and I am sure it will cost a mint.
Local councillor John Wilkinson summed up the situation perfectly when he said Bridlington has lost a golden opportunity which may never again present itself.