An activist group made up of residents has celebrated victory after car parking plans for a North East town were mixed following a public consultation.

A proposal to change the promenade on Marine Parade in Saltburn to make way for more car parking spaces will no longer progress after the results saw the majority vote against the project.

The development would have added 100 new parking bays to the road, with the promenade narrowed to make room.

Residents, business owners and visitors took part in the consultation and voiced their opposition to the proposals which Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council (RCBC) said they believed would improve parking arrangements and highway safety.

The Northern Echo:

Speaking on the decision, Gemma Booth, an organiser for Saltburn Against Promenade Changes, said: “[It’s] amazing, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, we’re all just absolutely over the moon.

“We’ve all put so much work in for three months now, it’s taken over a lot of our lives, it just feels fabulous that the hard work has paid off.

“It’s such an important community space, time and time again, visitors and residents keep telling us it’s somewhere they come to improve their mental health because you can always make a friend on the prom.

“It’s just such a valuable space, not just for us, but for everyone.”

She said they were delighted to learn the result at around 3pm yesterday and said people had come to the group saying it was “the best Christmas present” they could have hoped to have had.

Ms Booth added that the prom serves as a great place for care home residents, wheelchair users, cyclists, skateboarders, dog walkers and walkers to enjoy due to its openness.

She added the result shows residents have a voice and hopes this will encourage people to take part in similar issues in future.

The Northern Echo:

Just under 2,000 people took part in the survey, with 1325 voting against the proposals, and 601 voting for them.

Councillor Alec Brown, Leader of RCBC, said: As an administration, we were pleased to have given the people of Saltburn the opportunity to have their say on the proposals.

“We have made the decision based on what matters to the community, and we thank everyone who took part in the consultation. We are a listening administration, and we were under the impression this had been properly consulted when we inherited this.

“Moving forward, we are now going to resurface the entire promenade, fix the railings and look to install EV charging units on Marine Parade. We will keep you fully updated on the next steps.”  

The Northern Echo:

Councillor Carl Quartermain said: "Coming into this role within Highways and Transport in May, I was asked to make a decision over plans to improve parking along Marine Parade in Saltburn. I was happy to approve these plans subject to a period of final commentary from the public.

"Having received hundreds of comments and having received multiple messages directly and indirectly during this period, I hit pause on the project because I was not confident the public had been consulted adequately and because the feedback received revealed doubt over the popularity of the plan. I therefore called for a period of consultation so as to be crystal clear and to move forward based on the data received.

"Following that process and having analysed over 1,900 replies from the survey, it is clear that the majority of Saltburn residents who took part do not want to see these changes made to the promenade. This was echoed by the majority of Saltburn businesses and by visitors. Having taken this time to listen I can confirm that I have advised officers not to continue with the proposal.

“I would like to thank the Council’s officers for all their hard work and to everyone who has participated in this process, at meetings and for all the comments made and received by the public."

The council said it would remove the old lampposts and tarmac the whole of the seaward footpath from the bank top to Hazel Grove entrance.

It said it will also be repairing the railings on Marine Parade, with work having already started.

Adding to this, it said it will also explore Electrical Vehicle plug-in infrastructure in the top of the town.

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The railings on Marine Parade are part of a wider project to make improvements to the Foreshore, including replacement of the lower promenade railings and the recently completed restoration of the Albert Memorial, a Grade II listed structure.

Footpath improvements have also taken place around the popular playground and play area in the Valley Gardens.

Other improvement works in Saltburn include the 25-space car park at the seafront next to Saltburn Gill Railway and Saltburn Gill Nature Reserve to accommodate more visitor parking, which followed the expansion of Cat Nab car park and the introduction of motorhome infrastructure.