Moves paving the way for the demolition of Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre will be discussed by senior councillors next week.
Earlier this year senior councillors agreed to appoint a preferred bidder, later revealed to be Flamingo Land, to redevelop a site which includes the Futurist.
A long campaign has been fought by those who wanted to see the Futurist remain but the theatre, which was once one of the best-known seaside venues in the country playing host to names such as The Beatles, had faced its final curtain for some time after council bosses warned it was “unsustainable” and, together with the surrounding area, suitable for redevelopment.
On Thursday members of Scarborough Borough Council’s planning and development committee will consider agreeing prior approval to bring down the theatre to make it easier to market the site to potential developers. The approval includes details of how the demolition will be carried out. If councillors back the move, a decision on the theatre’s actual demolition will be made at a later date.
Opponents have written to the authority questioning why the council is moving the plans along.
The Theatres Trust, the national advisory public body for theatres says: “Demolition of the theatre would be at odds with the development brief approved by cabinet, which states that there should be no demolition until a final use for the site has been approved.”
However a report to be considered by councillors on Thursday says: “In current market conditions developers ideally want to get onto the site and develop it quickly; the complexities that would come with demolishing the Futurist may make them go elsewhere.”
Flamingo Land, which runs the theme park of the same name at Malton, has been appointed preferred bidder and wants to build a roller coaster and botanical gardens. The plans are however very much in their infancy.
“Whilst illustrations of possible future development have been published in the press, these do not form part of this current application,” the committee report adds.