East Riding council is as committed to regenerating Bridlington as ever, according to a director at the authority.
Last week, supermarket giant Tesco delivered a huge blow to the £200m Bridlington Area Action Plan by abandoning plans for a new store on Hilderthorpe Coach Park, which would have freed its existing site for development under the AAP guidelines.
But Alan Menzies, director of planning and economic regeneration, said he was confident the rest of the plan would still be delivered.
“There have been discussions going on with other people besides Tesco, around half a dozen,” said Mr Menzies.
“It’s not just been negotiation with one company. It’s unfair to say who the others are, but there have been discussions before Tesco made their decision.”
When asked if it had just been supermarkets approached by the council, Mr Menzies said that other retail outlets would be considered. He also said that a location for the coach park if development begins on the current Hilderthorpe Road site is still being discussed, but that the option of it remaining on the same site had not been considered. He also said it was unlikely that the council will look to serve a compulsory purchase order on the current Tesco site.
“We have also got the works around the Gypsey Race where we want to improve the environment,” continued Mr Menzies. “We have bought a lot of property around Hilderthorpe Road, Beck Hill and around there, and we would like to start development. It’s difficult to put a timescale on when that will begin, it is difficult to start demolishing buildings if one in the middle of a block is still occupied. As you know we have already got rid of some of the buildings around Hilderthorpe Road.
“We we are looking at other improvements as well, such as highways.”
Mr Menzies said he would now like to meet with the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners over an agreed Marina layout, to progress the second main plank of the council’s regeneration strategy. And while disappointed at Tesco’s decision to pull out, Mr Menzies said: “We are as committed as we ever have been to delivering regeneration in Bridlington.
“The AAP is a much larger plan than simply negotiating with Tesco. It is a planning policy document that takes time to develop, and while I understand that businesses and residents are disappointed and impatient for regeneration to begin, we will not take shortcuts.”
Responding to claims that negotiations over the coach park site had already cost the authority up to £20m, Mr Menzies called the figures ‘uninformed’ and ‘fanciful’.