Tuesday 14th May 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

LUNA PARK – a Missed Opportunity

LUNA PARK – a Missed Opportunity

Guest Author ALLAN ROBERTS further expands his criticism of the shambolic ‘back-of-a-fag-packet’ Masterplan for the regeneration of Scarborough Harbour – a litany of blind incomprehension masquerading as ‘vision’.

Wayne Hemingway, author of the ‘Masterplan’ and recipient of an MBE for “services to design” (!), is the son of 60’s professional wrestling icon Billy Two Rivers, which may (or may not) explain something – or nothing – to those who think professional wrestling in the 60’s was sport.

Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet will consider the ‘Masterplan’ when it meets on 20th October 2020. Let us hope that it evinces the good sense to write off the £15K design fee to experience – and chucks the fag-packet where it belongs; in the trash can.

Over to Allan . . .


There is, I understand, £25m, available from the Town Fund deal to regenerate the town, and that the Council is to make a bid for some of those funds, a portion of which, if successful, will be used to regenerate Scarborough Harbour.

To assist SBC in that bid, the Council employed a company of consultants, Hemingway Design, with a remit to:

“Undertake a comprehensive masterplan and accompanying fully costed feasibilty and implementation plan to assist delivery of Scarborough harbour”.

In the resultant ‘Masterplan’ devised by HD, the Luna Park is singled out for attention.

Luna Park is, in fact, built on a wooden platform/deck supported by wooden pillars and was built as a herring processing jetty around 1920/30.

HD describes Luna Park as:

  • scruffy in appearance
  • having little architectural merit
  • a wasted opportunity for commercial activity overlooking the harbour
  • the ideal use for the site would be a restaurant/cafe offering uninterrupted views of the harbour

The ‘Masterplan’ provides these artists impressions of how that proposal would appear.

HD also provided this plan of that part of the harbour, showing the footprint of Luna Park, outlined in GREEN.

If the intention of SBC was to increase harbour revenue, then I suggest it should have instructed HD to look at the redundant and presently unused areas of the harbour.

With a little foresight, they could bring back into use what is now an unusable area of the harbour – an area similar in size to the Luna Park footprint.

Here is the plan of that part of the harbour again, this time showing the presently unused area, blocked in RED.

The unusable area is a result of the following unforseen consequences.

12 years ago the centre inner harbour was dredged extremely deeply to accommodate 60 pontoon berths for the leisure sector.

Since that time there has been a considerable change to the harbour bed.

In effect, that dredging activity has created a ‘sump’ into which, the sand/mud from the surrounding undredged areas has migrated, leaving a harbour bed consisting of stones/rocks/masonry etc.

This is particulary noticable in the area between the arches on Sandside and the northern end of those pontoons.

This area once had a soft/sandy bottom that had been used for around the last 150 years by boat owners to lay up for painting or minor repairs, as can be seen in this composite image.

Since the installation of the pontoons, that same area is now an unsafe and unusable/unused area composed of large stones, rocks, masonry etc, as can be seen in this image.

The slipway is now unusable as it is blocked by the poor design of the pontoon access gangway.

I suggest that consideration should be given to building a platform over this area, similar to Luna Park, to accommodate the proposed attractions of the Hemingway ‘Masterplan’.

If that were to happen, it would provide new bususiness opportunities and extra revenue to the harbour, as opposed to just moving traders around, as the Hemingway ‘Masterplan’ indicates.

There would, I suggest, be little or nil opposition from existing harbour users.

It would of course be expensive, however I understand there is £25m up for grabs.

At a time when much use of the word ‘VISION’ is being bandied about by SBC, regarding the plans for Scarborough harbour, perhaps they are the ones lacking ‘vision’.

Billy Two Rivers

(60’s professional wrestler – i.e. flannel artist)

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