Dozens of residents object to 'monstrosity' plans for new multi-million pound Whitby Maritime Hub

Whitby Maritime Hub. Design and Access Statement.
Whitby Maritime Hub. Design and Access Statement. -Credit:Copyright Unknown

More than 30 objections have been lodged against plans for Whitby’s new Maritime Hub.

Plans for the construction of a multi-million pound, three-storey maritime centre at Endeavour Wharf were officially submitted in April. However, residents have slammed the proposals.

Many of the objecting residents have said that the hub – which is funded through £17.1m awarded by the government’s Towns Fund – does not fit the character of the area and should be located elsewhere. Others have raised concerns about an impact on local businesses, existing parking arrangements and flooding.

But North Yorkshire County Council has said that the new hub, on Langborne Road, would provide new space for businesses to “drive the rebirth of the town’s maritime industry by providing new opportunities”, including workshops, laboratories, and space for start-ups.

Local resident, Sarah Blackwell said: “The building is not in keeping with the surrounding area – the colour and height are far too imposing. Whitby is a town of historic beauty and any buildings in such a prominent position should be sympathetic to this.”

Another, Dorothy Russell, said: “I cannot believe that this monstrosity will be built on the harbourside in a zone three floodplain.” She added: “The building is very formidable and not in keeping with our historic town.”

However, the plans state that the ground floor of the building would have flood resilience measures built into it, with water-resistant materials used in the construction. A local group, Whitby Community Network, has also been a vocal opponent of the plans and last year supported a town poll that sought to have the project halted and re-examined.

Other locals have also said that a loss of car parking spaces could impact their businesses. The majority of the site has been used as a public car park for the past 20 years but Endeavour Wharf is still set to retain around 200 parking spaces.

'One hat doesn’t suit all'

Andrew Savage said: “The anglers who come to fish on my Charter Boat arrive around 5-6am daily, so Park and Ride isn’t an option. The issue of restricted and expensive parking is costing me customers, who have commented how Hartlepool is so much better and cheaper for parking – one hat doesn’t suit all.”

So far, only two public comment in favour of the scheme has been submitted as part of the planning process. Commenting in favour, Coun Neil Swannick said: “Young people will be able to gain marketable maritime skills for their own futures and to guarantee Whitby a workforce able to compete with other small ports.

“What remains of Whitby’s proud fishing and boat building industries needs to be supported and supplemented with emerging industries such as offshore wind farm maintenance and mariculture.”

He added: “This building will play a major part in that revival. I see the design as striking, with the steeply-pitched roofs reflecting the town’s historic association with Scandinavia and our nearer European neighbours. The height is necessary for ground level flexibility in wise anticipation of climate-change driven sea-level rise and extreme weather events.”

A date for the application to be considered by the Scarborough and Whitby area planning committee has not been announced.