Seaton Carew plans ‘make very best of bad situation’

Artists impression of how Seaton Carew will look
Artists impression of how Seaton Carew will look

Council chiefs have pledged to continue their efforts to regenerate Seaton Carew.

A revised scheme has been released after the Government’s shock decision to block a compulsory purchase order for the empty Longscar Building.

A new play area planned for Seaton Carew

A new play area planned for Seaton Carew

One councillor for the area says the plans make ‘the very best of a bad situation’.

The borough council had said the removal of Longscar was a key part of its regeneration plans but planning inspector John Chase refused the order in October.

Owners Terence and Barry Wilkinson had objected,saying they had plans for the building.

Now the council’s Regeneration Services Committee has approved a new first phase of works which includes an outdoor leisure park to the north of Longscar. Features will include high-quality children’s play equipment and water jets. There will also be beach huts, seating and a communal space along the promenade, as well as improvements to the Grade II-listed clock tower and bus station and surrounding area.

The plan that has been put forward now makes the very best of a bad situation.

Coun Paul Thompson

The improvements are subject to the success of a £600,000 bid to the Coastal Communities Fund, with an announcement due by the end of March next year.

Councillors have also approved the use of land to the north of the new first phase of works for the creation of a crazy golf course that will be financed and run privately.

Ward member Coun Paul Thompson praised council officers for their work on the new plans, saying: “They have had to put together ‘plan B’ very quickly.

“Residents and ward members have had a lot of input into the scheme, so it is very disappointing the original plan could not come to fruition. The plan that has been put forward now makes the very best of a bad situation.”

Longscar Centre, Seaton Carew

Longscar Centre, Seaton Carew

Committee chairman Coun Kevin Cranney said: “Although we were bitterly disappointed with the Government’s decision not to confirm the CPO, we want to send out a clear message that we remain fully committed to the regeneration of Seaton Carew.

“The re-phased masterplan still provides us with an opportunity to bring about significant redevelopment that builds upon recent improvements to the sea defences and promenade and benefits the local economy.

“We also intend to hold further discussions with the owners of the Longscar Building to ensure their redevelopment proposals as outlined at the public inquiry can be fully integrated into the masterplan works.”