Fears over future of burnt down former Parade complex in Skegness
QUESTIONS have been raised as to whether a prominent foreshore site could be left undeveloped for another three years if planning permission is granted.
The question was posed by councillors in Skegness who were consulted on resubmitted plans for the former Parade complex in Skegness, which burnt down in 2007.
Planning permission was granted in 2010 to redevelop the site but as no building work has started, that permission is due to expire later this month.
Now, site owner Taj Bola, has resubmitted the application which includes a new nightclub complex comprising of bars and dance floors, DJ podium, a food court, a club with a balcony plus leisure facilities including an ice skating rink, roller disco, and Internet cafe.
East Lindsey District Council was considering a compulsive purchase order on the site.
Skegness Town Council's planning committee felt there was not enough information with the application for them to make a supporting comment or objection.
They voted for one of Skegness' district councillor's to call-in the application so that it is determined by East Lindsey's Planning Committee and then the town council will relay their concerns.
Councillors are concerned that if planning permission is granted, it could be another three years - totalling nine since the fire - that the site could be left undeveloped.
Councillor Mark Smith said: "We are well and truly stuck between a rock and a hard place.
"If we don't support it nothing gets done, if we do support it we get castigated. If this was a brand new application we would be saying this is fantastic, this is what Skegness wants."
Councillor Jim Carpenter said: "My concern is if it is granted again, although it is what Skegness needs, are we going to have a prominent spot on the foreshore stood there empty for another three years. We need some sort of assurance that building is going to start sooner or later."
Councillor Dick Edginton added: "This could go on and on. It is a very valuable site and I would hope that it can be developed otherwise it is going to be a permanent feature.
"There was a lot of local pressure for East Lindsey to take some action because in the eyes of the general public, it is an eyesore."
Councillor Danny Brookes believes ELDC will not go ahead with a compulsory purchase order.
He said: "If we don't support planning permission what will happen? I cannot see East Lindsey doing a compulsory purchase order - they are short of money as well. Our hands are tied."
Last week Mr Bola told the Target that he is currently in the tender phase with building contractors and if planning permission is given, building work could realistically start later this year.