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 Most recent update 12 August 2013
Spanish City Outline Planning Application

The scepticism at the end of this feature below is justified. There has only been a period of 'treading water' since July last year, as revealed in a report to the North Tyneside Council (NTC) cabinet at the meeting on 8 July 2013 - see item 7b - paragraphs 1.5.17 et. seq. The current lack of ambition is now revealed in a planning application to turn much of the site into a car park - see planning application 13/01199/LAREG3 - if you are not sure where the proposed car park is - see the map of the site (be patient for the map to load). (12/08/2013)

The Planning Application has been permitted and will now progress to deal with the 'reserved matters'. The Planning Committee that met on 10 July 2012 agreed with the planning officer's recommendation that "Members indicate that they are minded to grant planning permission subject to the addition, omission or amendment of conditions listed below and to grant plenary power to the Head of Regeneration, Development and Regulatory Services to determine the application ...". What this means is that council officers alone will decide on the reserved matters including all the buildings on the site other than the Dome building (which received full planning permission).

The Planning Application may still be viewed using the planning portal via this link - Outline Plan 12/00143/OUT. The description of the Planning Application has een revised to clarify its scope: -
12/00143/OUT | Full planning permission for refurbishment of The Spanish City Dome building and outline planning permission with all matters reserved except landscaping for new build mixed use development, site landscape works, public open space and promenade. Mixed uses include family activity centre, gymnasium, restaurant, food outlets, managed workspaces, offices, hotel, residential curtilage, carehome, townhouses/apartments and associated parking. (Amended Description 17.05.12). (Amended Noise Report 21.05.12). | The Avenue Hotel And The Dome Spanish City Whitley Bay Tyne And Wear NE26 1AR

This makes it clear that apart from the Dome building the application for the remainder of the site is for outline planning permission only. For the restoration of the Dome building a further planning application will be required covering its listed building status (assuming that the current application is permitted).
At the time of the writing (31 July 2012) the application has 77 documents. Some of these are large PDF documents which take a long time to download directly for viewing from the council's 'Planning Applications Online' website. (They can be downloaded more quickly by saving to a folder on your PC for viewing later.)

Only 1 document (Appendix B in Planning Statement) mentions the withdrawal of the YMCA as development partner; the Design & Access Statement and the Consultation Method Statement that also mention the YMCA seem to have been prepared before the withdrawal of the YMCA. Appendix B in the Planning Statement refers to a "proposal by North Tyneside Council to undertake the role of anchor tenant".
Date Published
Document Type
30th April 2012
Appendices from Design & Access Statement (Dome Building & Empress Ballroom)
3rd May 2012
Appendix B from Planning Statement (Dome Building)
2nd May 2012
3D Massing Model Looking South (Spanish City Site)
2nd May 2012
3D Massing Model Looking North (Spanish City Site)
2nd May 2012
Proposed North, South & West Elevations (Dome Building)

The first document listed above provides details of the 2004 Conservation Plan and gives a statement of intent to adhere to it. This includes the following: -
The proposal is to retain the Spanish City rotunda, promenade frontage and Empress Ballroom within one ownership to conserve and protect the collective nature of the building group. Other elements of the development adjacent to Spanish City are required to achieve a suitable development mixed use scheme in order to provide a sustainable balanced redevelopment. These buildings will be in independent ownerships. It is likely that the public realm works will be owned and managed by one owner.
The second document is an application for Heritage Lottery Funding for the restoration of the Dome Building (it does not mention the Empress Ballroom). Section 5d provides an indicative timetable for the work: -
Bearing in mind previous experience this must be highly speculative!
Localised Flooding
This additional page about repeated localised flooding in Grosvenor Drive (Whitley Bay) was set up to inform local residents and North Tyneside Counci (NTC). Some questions to NTC about the so-called 'flooding task and finish' group and the council's response can be found on the Message Board (item 54) for residents of the Grosvenor Estate.
Coastal Area Action Plan
The proposal on pedestrianisation of Whitley Bay has been withdrawn - see article in News Guardian for 21 September 2012.
Consultation is now over but you may read all the submissions made via the Consultation Portal. For those who are particularly interested in the responses to the idea of pedestrianising Whitley Bay town centre I have produced a list of all the comments gleaned from the Consultation Portal: -
I have previously commented on this proposal at the stage during the ARUP retail centres study - January 2010. My criticism then was that the idea had not been thought through. I proposed instead that buses only should have access in a one way direction east to west (and that there should be no other vehicle through access, except in an emergency). A PDF copy of my views/suggestions in January 2010 has been supplied to [The Planning Policy Team]. I am disappointed that there is no evidence that the idea of pedestrianising has yet been thought through after the elapsed of 2 years.
The common objection to this idea is that we've tried it once and it failed. I believe it failed because the council did not PLAN the pedestrianisation - it must have an idea about what's going to happen in the new open space. I believe the first step after pedestrianisation must be to set up two or three market days each week. We need to attract more people to the town centre - and what better way than a market. We used to have a popular covered market near the Playhouse but that was just knocked down. Let's make Whitley Bay a market town again. We may not be able to plant more trees in the town centre but we can have plenty of shrubs in tubs and flowers in towers. We need to change tha nature of the town centre - having a town square would be a good start. We'll never get the tourists back, but we can certainly attract day trippers. Ever since the end of the Second World War, we have done everything to welcome cars into towns. We now realise that cars do not enrich town centres - they destroy them.
Pedestrianisation makes it easier to wander around town and makes the whole experience more pleasant when you're not worrying about traffic. However, this shouldn't be at the expense of making it impossible for drivers trying to get through or into the town centre. If the pedestrianisation merely causes traffic congestion elsewhere, and people can't park (as not everyone can or will use buses), then it won't have worked.
it is worth examining the licencing of both The Bedroom and The Fire Station regarding outdoor tables and drinking, given that both have a heavy-drinking clientele which could be counter-productive to any future pedestrian piazza-type of environment.
This would be my third level priority.
This was tried and failed 20 years ago. Why are we going around in circles. In fact with the congestion now caused by the buses at the top of Park Avenue would cause grid lock if the proposal where implimented. It was a bad idea then and it still is now.
Pedestrianising part of the Whitley road would enable markets etc to enhance the town centre experience
What do local businesses think? Do they think it would have a negative impact? I would go with what people trading successfully think
This was unsuccessful last time it was tried. Why have I and other business on the affected part of whitley road not been given any information on this planned change. My shop Goodies 248a Whitley Road is struggling along with most independant traders in Whitley Bay. How I will survive if you re route the buses? Lord knows. I have been trading in whitley town centre since 1981. My husband and both sons are also in business self employed in the town centre. I only came across this information on a leaflet in the mall by chance. What are the details/schedule for the pedesrrianisation.
Hasn't this been done before a long time ago? I support this idea but I have serious concerns as to whether traffic congestion resulting from this will be unsustainable and potentially damage the reputation of the town centre.
The shops have become too spread out making them uninteresting they need to help themselves and group together in the centre
This will only work if you can get bigger names in retail to come! At the moment you have to go to Silverlink to buy anything from a big store!
It failed last time - but why? We were never fully informed. The logistics are tricky. Cars must be able to exit the town!
This needs to be done properly, used for weekend/evening events such as markets, music recitals dance shows for example to attract holiday makers as well as local residents.
The introduction of the seaside effect hard landscaping was never workable in the long term and to bitty and is now looking tired with the high degree of maintenance required. If pedestrianising proceeds, consideration should be given to change this and introduce soft landscaping and planted areas with longevity. Perhaps further street furniture to enhance the outside cafe culture and encourage more diverse development.
This would create traffic problems.
Think this was tried before and it caused traffic chaos
But only after engagement with local businesses and residents - they should be the ones to asses this one.
Plus weekly market
This was tried a few years ago and it failed wasting a considerable amount of my council tax. Why repeat the the mistake?
Proposals are a waste of public money in current economic crisis

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