Hull Council sent back to drawing board over £36m venue

Artist's impression of the proposed �36m Hull Venue
Artist's impression of the proposed �36m Hull Venue
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A council has had its own plans for a £36m concert and conference centre rejected five to four by councillors.

Hull Council will have to go back to the drawing board after the surprise planning committee vote on Tuesday.

The local authority claims the 3,500 seater Hull Venue will attract 240,000 visitors year and inject £13.8m into the local economy, creating 500 long-term jobs.

But Opposition councillors have raised concerns over the £600,000 running costs and the impact that will have on other cash-strapped front-line council services.

The four councillors who voted for were Labour - with a fifth, Coun Mike Thompson, unable to vote because he had not been on a site visit.

The five against were four Liberal Democrats and Conservative John Fareham, who slated its “absolutely shocking design.”

He told The Yorkshire Post: “We have the usual nod to The Deep - a building with a point at one end - attached to an unimaginative square box.

“There is nothing iconic about it. We won’t get Bruce Springsteen or any big touring acts coming to a 3,500 seater venue.

“The City Plan says quite clearly that tourism venues are supposed to go to St Andrews Quay, which is accessible.

“The idea that everyone will arrive by train and walk 400 yards though a less than inspiring city centre is rubbish - just like when they said people would walk to the KC Stadium and now you have to have parking permits in an extensive area around it.”

Council leader Steve Brady said he was “incredibly disappointed”: “The plans for the Hull Venue have received considerable public support, are hugely important for the development of the city and will put us on the map as a location for major events, conferences and music concerts.

“The development is absolutely essential to making Hull a top visitor destination and is an integral component of our legacy planning following on from our year as UK City of Culture in 2017.

“Whilst we will resubmit the planning application early in the New Year, the decision will, at the very least, mean a delay in commencing the development.”