Decision on Bridlington’s regeneration plans ‘by end of the month’

Bridlington harbour.
Bridlington harbour.

A DECISION on the soundness of Bridlington’s future regeneration plans is expected to be delivered by the end of the month.

The Area Action Plan, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s large scale regeneration plan for Bridlington – which proposes a developed harbour, a new shopping district and a host of other structural changes to the town centre – is currently being assessed by independent inspector Sian Worden.

She called two public hearings at the Spa, held in December and May, to hear from the council and objectors to the plan, and is expected to deliver her report by July 31.

In a letter from the Planning Inspectorate to John Lister, head of Bridlington Renaissance, it states: “Subject to no further work being necessary on the Bridlington AAP local plan, the inspector has indicated that we will be able to despatch the report to you by July 31 2012.”

The inspector’s report will be first sent to the council, and then made public.

At the last public hearing held at Bridlington Spa in May, arguments rumbled on about elements of the council’s plan. At the centre of those arguments were plans to redevelop the top of Bridlington harbour with shops, a hotel, a multi-storey car park and residential units.

The council says work at the harbour top – which would be the first phase of a possible future marina development – is necessary and vital to regenerate the town centre. However the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners say the council’s proposed development will take land away from them and leave them unable to continue regular harbour operations.

Bridlington Town Council, as well as a number of local individuals, are also against the development, arguing that large scale building will ruin the heritage of the harbour and destroy views of what they say is the town’s best asset.

Ms Worden also chaired a four day hearing in December which heard concerNs about other elements of the council’s plan – including amongst other things a new shopping parade and Tesco superstore on Hilderthorpe Road, resiting the town’s coach park, creating a public walkway alongside the Gypsey Race and a bridge across to take traffic from one side of the town to another, and a new market square at Bridge Street.

Ms Worden can decide to either rule the plan to be sound, or suggest amendments which would make it sound.

John Lister, head of Bridlington Renaissance, said: “Because we have received this letter, we would expect that the plan will not be thrown out.

“We’ll await to see whether the inspector thinks the plan is sound or if any amendments are suggested.”

If the AAP is ruled sound, Mr Lister said he hopes to have the plan adopted by the council by November this year, at which point a formal planning application would be put together and submitted. The council will also then put the Structural Planning Document (SPD) and the Conservation Area Character Assessment (CACA), which will act as planning guidelines for the town’s regeneration, to consultation.