Decision on Bridlington’s future regeneration plans due by end of month

An early indicative picture of how the Gypsey Race may look after the planned development.
An early indicative picture of how the Gypsey Race may look after the planned development.

THE INSPECTOR tasked with assessing Bridlington’s future regeneration plans has produced her report- but it will not be available until later this month.

Sian Worden, the planning inspector who has held two public hearings into East Riding council’s Area Action Plan (AAP), has produced a report on her findings - she can decide to rule that the AAP is sound, or suggest amendments which would make it sound.

This report has been sent to the council to be fact checked, which gives the council the chance to identify any factual errors and seek clarifications on any conclusions that are unclear.

This fact check should be completed in the next week, at which point the report will go back to the inspector before being made available to the public - on or around August 20.

A letter from the inspector to John Lister, head of the Bridlington Renaissance team, suggested that the report would be ready by July 31 as previously reported by the Free Press.

However, a spokesperson for the Planning Inspectorate said that it is normal procedure for the fact checking process to take place in any planning inquiry.

They also confirmed that objectors who gave evidence at public hearings will not see the report until this process is completed and the council are responsible for publishing the report.

According to a spokesperson for the Planning Inspectorate, the fact check stage is intended to deal only with matters of fact and clarification, saying it “is not appropriate for an authority to challenge any recommendations that it may not like”.

East Riding council must make any changes recommended by the Inspector in order to adopt the plan.

The AAP has proved controversial in some quarters, with public hearings held at the Spa in December last year, and May this year, focussing on the development of land at the harbour.

Bridlington Harbour Commissioners are against the development of the harbour top, arguing that it takes away land needed to keep the harbour operational.

Bridlington Town Council, the Lords Feoffees and others in the town have expressed concern about a number of aspects of the AAP, most notably possible plans to build a multi-storey car park, a hotel, shops and residential properties on the harbour top - which they say will simply obscure views of the town’s main selling point and damage its heritage.