‘Major concerns’

AAP - Marina
AAP - Marina

REGENERATION plans for Bridlington will go under public scrutiny tomorrow – as ‘major concerns’ have been expressed by the Planning Inspectorate.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council submitted its Area Action Plan (AAP) to the Government for public examination in April this year after consultation with local residents and councillors.

However, the soundness of some of the proposals – including the deliverability of the marina and the Burlington shopping parade – has been called into question by the inspector.

These issues will be explored at an open meeting at Bridlington Town Hall tomorrow, at 11am, which the public can attend.

In a letter outlining her concerns, inspector Sian Worden said: “Following an initial look at the AAP, the representations and the evidence base, I have several major concerns which I consider cast some doubt on the soundness of the AAP.”

Her concerns about the planned marina scheme include:

l Whether all stakeholders and landowners are committed to it.

l How it will be funded.

l And whether a detailed habitat assessment is going to be carried out, and if so, what the implications would be for the scheme.

The multi-million pound AAP outlines the council’s vision for Bridlington’s future and promises a complete regeneration of the town centre.

The proposed Burlington Parade development is singled out for discussion.

The scheme marks the major redevelopment of the town centre from Hilderthorpe Coach Park along the harbour top and includes up to 600 new housing units as well as a hotel, retail and leisure space.

Ms Worden is concerned about the flood risk if the area is developed as proposed.

She also expresses concern about the effect that building new houses in the harbour area would have on the listed buildings already there and questions how the harbour will function if the harbour top is developed as proposed.

General questions raised by Ms Worden about the AAP include whether the objectives are clear and achievable and whether the plan is flexible enough to respond to variations to the proposals or changes in circumstance.

Although John Lister, head of Bridlington Renaissance, admitted that this initial response from the Inspector was “a little bit of a hiccup”, he said the questions raised were fairly standard.

Mr Lister said: “The exploratory meeting is a process that the Inspector decides that she wants to go through.

“As a preliminary measure, it will cut down the period of examination and they are pretty standard questions.

“They are the sort of questions that you would very often ask within the enquiry.”

When the AAP was published in October last year, 45 individuals and groups expressed their opinions on aspects of the scheme, with a total 186 submissions being made.

Among those making representations was Bridlington Town Council, which had concerns about building 200 houses on the harbour.

The town council also criticised the plan to create another shopping street, saying “it would be foolish to contemplate providing more empty shops in the town”.

The council, along with all the others who made representations, have been invited to tomorrow’s meeting and members of the public are also allowed to attend as observers.

l See next week’s Free Press for a full report on the outcome of the AAP meeting.