Flamingo Land will need to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment before it can build its long-awaited coastal attraction in Scarborough, the borough council has confirmed.
The Ryedale-based theme park and zoo wants to build a new attraction with a rollercoaster and cliffhanger tower on the site of the former Futurist Theatre in the town’s Foreshore Road.
The theatre was demolished last year at a cost of more than £4 million to Scarborough Council and recent works to make the land secure by contractor Willmott Dixon have caused controversy.
A piling method used by the company has been cited by nearby residents as the reason for cracks appearing in and outside their homes. The company has agreed to remedy any damage caused by its work, but denies it is responsible for the cracks.
Now, Flamingo Land’s architects have submitted a screening opinion request to Scarborough Council, showing the outlines of how any future development could look.
The plans show a four-storey building on Foreshore Road with space for attractions, education facilities, restaurants and children’s play areas.
Another building adjacent to the main area will house a “winter garden” and will also feature a viewing area.
To the rear of the main building, accessed from the roof, is the rollercoaster with the cliffhanger tower, which will stand 60 metres tall, also at the rear.
The plans involve developing part of St Nicholas Gardens as well as the Futurist site.
In his response to the screening opinion, which can be requested by an applicant before it submits the full planning application, the council’s planning services manager David Walker concludes that due to the scale of the development an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be carried out.
In his letter to AAH Planning Consultants, who are acting on Flamingo Land’s behalf, he writes: “The proposed development, notably external rides and uses, would result in noise in close proximity to sensitive receptors, including residential property.”
He adds: “The site is in a location of known ground instability with measures
currently being implemented to minimise the likelihood of such accidents. Nonetheless, reassessment will be required to take account of the proposed development.”
Mr Walker also notes concerns over how the look of the development will impact on Scarborough’s seafront and its proximity to listed buildings, including the Grand Hotel.
He adds that another reason for requiring the EIA to be carried out is the projected number of visitors that the company is hoping to attract.
Estimates in the screening option put a figure of annual visitors at approximately 490,000 which would, in Mr Walker’s opinion, have a knock-on effect on transport infrastructure including the A64 and town centre parking.
Flamingo Land will now need to submit the EIA as part of the full planning application.