December 2016 Planning Report
by Richard Ward
The fine building in St Nicholas Street, for the time being at least, occupied by HSBC Bank is covered in signage at ground floor level.
Why do banks consider it necessary to pretend they are retail outlets with a desire to despoil their facades instead of embracing them? The bank is seeking permission to change its signage and we have suggested to the planners that this might be an opportunity to reduce the number of signs and to allow more of the building to be exposed.
The most notable thing to report to you is the depressing trend of our planners to overrule considerations imposed by legislation in relation to Conservation Areas in favour of the economic argument. Three recent cases serve to illustrate my point. At 10 Weaponness Park, a property within the Weaponness Conservation Area, permission was granted to allow the demolition of a garage and its replacement with a dwelling. Over the last 40 years, there have been no less than six planning applications to develop this site, four of them going on to appeal. In each case bar one (which was allowed at appeal and was for the demolition of the garage only) the application was correctly refused as being inappropriate for a Conservation Area. Suddenly the planners have caved in.
In Huntriss Row, you will no doubt be aware that, despite all objections, Premier Inn is to be allowed to demolish a part of Scarborough’s history and a worthy part of the street scene in the shape of the Conservative Club. This property is in the Scarborough Conservation Area, but preference was given to the economic considerations over the aesthetic. You can read more about this in my article about Conservation Areas on the next page.
The third example is on Filey Road where, again, despite all the objections to the loss of the fine Bramcote School building, the council has just granted planning permission for its demolition and replacement with another McCarthy & Stone development.
And finally, to release my festive cheer, let me conclude on a happier note. Volleyball is coming to Royal Albert Drive! We took the view that the creation of a court and associated facilities would provide a useful facility for the town. We supported the application and are pleased to see it has been approved.