Utopia: Planning Permission!

Peter and Robert Brown had tried to utilise the first floor of Joyland by opening a bar/restaurant in the late 1970s. However, they were unable to secure a license. Many years later, Joyland's new owners, the Noble family, tried again. They planned to expand the upper floors over the existing canopy to crate a new-look Esplanade frontage for the arcade, and revisited the option of opening out the ground floor into a single space...

The planning application only met with opposition from one resident, who complained that it would affect views from his property and the extensions would be out of character with the existing building.

The officer acknowledged that the principle of a restaurant had already been approved in 1978, when Peter and Robert Brown had successfully received planning permission. The officer was also in support of opening out the ground floor area, a proposal which had first been proposed by Charlotte Brown back in 1949:

“The ground floor alterations, giving a much more spacious and quality feel to this unit, are considered acceptable.”

The officer believed that the major changes proposed to Joyland would fit in with the surrounding uses:

“The first floor extensions will be prominent, but are not considered out of character in that they will reflect the similar characters of the Floral Pavilion below and to a lesser extent the Leisure World elevation to the north. For a first floor enterprise to be successful commercially, it needs to be noticeable and have other desirable qualities. Such a glass-fronted seaward facing building will be noticed and should prove a popular attraction….It is hoped the proposal will be visually and commercially successful and will, when completed, act as a catalyst for the further improvement of the buildings on Esplanade, particularly above first floor level.”

A large advert taken out by J. Noble & Sons in the 1995 Bridlington Guide Book celebrated the end of this second phase of work, with the opening of what was named ‘Bar Utopia’:

“The 1995 season marks the completion of the second phase of development with the opening of our first floor area. This is home to Brid’s newest Bar, Restaurant and Snooker Room, with breathtaking views over the Bay, Harbour and Flamborough Head.”

Robert Brown remembers how they had tried in 1978 to open a pub in the same part of the building without success:

“Now, Nobles have got not only what we wanted, they have also got a bar next to the bowling alley in the amusements. That’s how the licensing laws have changed! We couldn’t get one on the first floor; they’ve got one there and a small one – a nice little bar – next to the bowling, where children could walk in easily.”

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The Forum’s Esplanade entrance in 1999, showing the first floor conservatory extension added in 1995 as Bar Utopia. Photograph: Nick Laister

Promotional leaflet from 1998, advertising the new Forum as “a great day in for all the family”. Photograph: J Noble & Sons Ltd

Published by:
Skelter Publishing LLP
© 2006

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