AS THE summer season approaches, does Bridlington want another boarded-up building or an amusement arcade?
That is the question posed by local businessman Michael Harrison after his application to convert the empty Burger King premises on Esplanade into an amusement arcade was rejected by the council.
Mr Harrison had planned to open an arcade this Spring and is appealing against the council’s decision to refuse his change of use application because it conflicts with their policies to encourage year-round business to the seafront.
Mr Harrison said: “I was disappointed that the building closed in the first place, but these things happen and we will have to continue through the proper channels to see if we can get the planning decision reviewed - we are going to appeal against the decision. The insurers have told us that we had to get the building boarded up for security reasons and I would ask: does the council want another boarded-up building, is that what Brid really needs?
“It doesn’t look very good for the summer, it isn’t a good advertisement for Brid, but the planners have said an amusement arcade isn’t in keeping with that area.”
In the report detailing the reasons for refusal, planners quoted sections of the East Yorkshire Borough Wide Local Plan which states that: “Proposals for new amusement arcades, family leisure centres or extensions to such existing use will only be granted along the defined edge of Esplanade/Garrison Street.”
Another reason for refusal comes from the Bridlington Area Action Plan which aims to discourage change of uses into seasonal enterprises in favour of reclaiming the seafront for year-round businesses such as residential buildings, hotels, restaurants and cafes.
In her report, planning case officer Jackie Chadburn said: “The proposal would introduce an amusement arcade into an area being targeted for a wider range of year-round activities. Amusement arcades primarily serve the seasonal tourist market and in these circumstances the proposal fails to comply with policies.”
Mr Harrison said the former Burger King building, which boasts a prominent seafront location, will remain boarded-up until the outcome of his appeal against the planning refusal.
Several objections came from owners of nearby seafront arcades who also cited council policy as a reason for rejecting the scheme.