Unsettled outlook for harbour top inquiry

CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop Bridlington’s harbour top will sail back into stormy waters at a planning inquiry this week.

Last year Government inspector Sian Worden raised concerns over the proposals put forward by East Riding Council, which includes an indoor shopping centre on the existing Tesco site and a new Tesco at Hilderthorpe Coach Park with links to a harbour top development.

She is holding an extra hearing at Bridlington Spa on Wednesday to examine whether proposals for the harbour top, including a hotel, retail and leisure on land owned by the Harbour Commissioners and the council, are essential to the Burlington Parade plans.

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East Riding Council insists there are “strong benefits” to the plans.

But Bridlington Town Council says it doesn’t want “its jewel in the crown despoiled.”

It says a superstore with three hours free parking will drain town centre shops of customers and the plans should be rejected as “not only would the treasured view across the harbour be lost, there is no telling what potential monstrosity might obscure it.”

The Harbour Commissioners complain that the council has refused to release details of the financial position that underpins its case and says it has not provided evidence to back up its claims that the harbour top proposals are needed to make the rest of the plans stack up financially.

Ex-councillor Geoff Pickering, a critic of the plans, said: “The council has paid lip service to the objections, but not made any significant changes.”

A council spokesman said: “The council welcomes the Inspector’s detailed examination of the proposals for the harbour top and we are sure that the additional professional evidence we have submitted will allay any fears that the operation of the harbour will be adversely affected and show that there will be strong benefits to the overall proposals in the Area Action Plan to develop the centre of Bridlington.”