Plans to build a restaurant and holiday lets in the shadow of Scarborough Castle have been given provisional support.
Approval came despite the objections of Historic England, which described the development as "confusing".
The glass-fronted building will contain 19 rooms as well as a restaurant, replacing a cafe that was demolished in 2017.
Engineers will assess the stability of a nearby slope before final approval.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Scarborough Borough Council planning committee passed the plans by 10 votes to three.
The new building in Royal Albert Drive, designed by Scarborough-based Mick Paxton Architects, will bring permanent public toilets back to the seafront, one of the requirements of the council for development.
Ward councillor John Atkinson urged the committee to refuse the scheme saying it "looks like a World War Two pillbox" and after 10 years of being battered by the weather the building would be "an absolute mess".
The committee, however, disagreed with his assessment and granted in-principle approval for the scheme.
Councillor David Jeffels said the building would be an "iconic statement" and rejected Mr Atkinson's description of the building as "grossly unfair".
"This a bold development and the kind of quality development Scarborough needs in the 21st Century," he said.
"It is good to see a vote of confidence being put into the town by a developer.
"The development is likely to trigger the confidence of other companies to invest in Scarborough as we hopefully come out of Covid."
English Heritage, the custodian of Scarborough Castle, did not offer an opinion on the development and 12 members of the public wrote to the council to object to the plans, with two people offering support to the proposal.