30 firms interested in Bridlington coach park site

Director of Bridlington Renaissance, John Lister.
Director of Bridlington Renaissance, John Lister.

More than 30 companies have expressed an interest in developing Bridlington’s coach park – after Tesco pulled out.

John Lister, director of Bridlington Renaissance at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said he could not reveal which companies were eyeing up the Hilderthorpe Road site, but said it was likely large organisations will have applied.

And Mr Lister said the council has made an application to the Department of Transport for millions of pounds worth of funding to go towards the infrastructure of Bridlington’s Area Action Plan.

He said: “We will know that we have got a few million pounds towards the town centre in July or August.”

If funding is secured it will be used towards the plans to transform Hilderthorpe Road, Beck Hill, Manor Street and Bridge Street.

Mr Lister said: “It will be used to improve all routes so we can get traffic into and out of the town better. Hopefully we can get that and tidy up Hilderthorpe.”

A full application for the development of Bridlington town centre will be submitted once it is clear what the development at the Hilderthorpe Coach Park site is likely to be.

Mr Lister said: “If 30 individual companies can express interest in that one plot then there is going to be interest in the other plots of land in Bridlington.”

Tesco had previously planned to develop the coach park, but abandoned the move earlier this year.

Defending the Area Action Plan (AAP) against recent claims from campaign group Justice for Bridlington, Mr Lister refuted the group’s claim the £60 million funding had been “wasted”.

He cited numerous projects undertaken in the town, including the £20 million Bridlington Spa development and the refurbishment of Chapel Street.

“You tell me who doesn’t benefit from the Spa in Bridlington. There has been tremendous benefit to the town,” he said.

“That is all development in the future for the town and nothing is going to tell me that it has been wasted.”

His statement comes after members of Justice for Bridlington sent emails to all 67 East Riding councillors demanding accountability over the use of the £60 million funding for the AAP.

Last week, Matthew Buckley, head of legal and democratic services at East Riding Council, said councillors had been advised not to respond to the emails.

The campaigners have now fired off a further response to Mr Buckley.

Geoff Pickering, of Justice for Bridlington, said: “Changes in the Localism Act mean that councillors can no longer be gagged by the rules of predetermination. If this is Mr Buckley’s official legal advice, it is flawed, and he has some explaining to do if he thinks asking councillors to investigate and scrutinise the actions of the council stops them making decisions in the future.

“If residents cannot communicate with councillors confidentially, how can they have any confidence in the council being open and transparent?”

Mr Buckley had previously said any response from councillors could jeopardise their future ability to take part in discussions surrounding the AAP.