Public opinion 'ignored' over site for new £5m seafront hall

POLITICIANS have been accused of ignoring public opinion by pressing ahead with controversial plans to replace an ageing entertainment venue on a different site.

East Riding Council has submitted plans for the 5m replacement for Hornsea Floral Hall, with new theatre and conference space, next to the town's leisure centre.

Cabinet member Coun Jane Evison said the centre would allow the town to host a wider range of events and prove a draw to visitors. The authority wants to build a new venue attached to the leisure centre at the south end of the seafront, which they say will be cheaper to run.

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But many in the town insist that moving the venue will kill the north end of the Promenade, and have said they want it to stay where it is in two surveys.

Town councillor Geoff Hindle branded the move "another loss of democracy" adding: "We have seen as far as the council is concerned they are going to build come hell or high water.

"Every single survey has said that local people want it replacing where it is. What has happened to democratic public opinion?"

The plans have to be agreed before the council can apply to Yorkshire Forward for the 2m they need, on top of the 3m it has already committed.

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The designs were drawn up by the council's architects who redeveloped Bridlington Spa in collaboration with artist Chris Tipping and took in the views of Hull Truck and local amateur theatrical society HATS.

A 27,000 report by WS Atkins in 2004 said 67 per cent of residents backed rebuilding Hornsea Floral Hall on the same site. A study four years later said the "overwhelming popular view" was for a new centre on the old site.

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