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Premier Sin

September 19, 2013

There is only one reason for a big new hotel in Bridlington and that is to work in conjunction with the Spa to make it more attractive to conference business.

This is what is in the AAP. The policy has good intent; winter trade through conferences is a major boost to any local economy. The AAP goes on to say that in order to make a conference hotel viable the number of beds available in existing hotels and guest houses has to be reduced. In plain language, existing Bridlington hoteliers have to be put out of business to make it viable.

We must therefore decide if the potential benefit outweighs the damage done. It is an arguable policy but one buried so deep in a bulky document using indecipherable language that few have realised the implications of it. There would have been more local responses to the AAP consultation than the 26 received if it was clear that our own businesses were to be sacrificed.

The other factor in this equation (and according to ERYC) is that for a conference hotel to work it has to be close, if not next to, the conference venue – The Spa. The hotel site was originally on the harbour top and one of the reasons the Council were so keen to include this area in the plan. They failed! Only getting the plan through inspection after major changes, taking out anything to do with the Harbour Top.

Bridlington Councillors have long proposed the site of Leisure World. After all it makes sense: the site is in a fantastic location, and the development could benefit greatly by including the revamped pool, shopping etc. and we would save money on the replacement pool by working in partnership. The idea was quashed by Officers who declared the Leisure World site was too far from the Spa to be viable for conferences. 

So why is the Council now promoting a site much further away and which will despoil one of the great series of sea front open spaces around which our existing hotels face?

By the council’s own criteria, the Beaconsfield location renders a hotel there next to useless as a conference trade. The only reason for having it will not met. What is worse is that a large budget hotel would then increase the beds available making an actual conference hotel unviable. We will have sacrificed local businesses for a national chain which will suck money out of the local economy, rather than what local entrepreneurs do and spend their takings locally.

In promoting this hotel, the council undermines its own plans for conference business, and fails to secure the benefit the policy was intended to create. ERYC has already ditched any chance of the Burlington Parade by selling off the coach park. The council has confirmed they were so confident in their abilities that they have no Plan B, and its actions are not planned regeneration but an exercise in ‘back of a fag packet’ damage limitation.

Apart from the self evident explanation that those ‘in charge’ don’t have a clue about what they are doing, are we witnessing councillors and officers desperately trying to con the people of Bridlington and the East Riding into believing their plans are still on track, that something good is happening, and they have it all under control? Certainly the treatment of Justice for Bridlington, petitioners and any councillor who dares to ask questions, shows the top brass want to suppress any scrutiny.

If all is well and above board, what have they to worry about?


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One Comment
  1. Perhaps it may help explain planning officers decisions if those who own,have shares in,will gain from etc.are revealed ?

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