SCARBOROUGH — The Sprague Corp.’s plan for a new beach park next to Scarborough Beach State Park was approved by the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals late Wednesday, but a series of other reviews and approvals will be needed for the controversial plan to move forward.

After a five hour public hearing and  deliberation, the ZBA voted 5-0 to approve the proposal for an entry road, a 370-space grass-and-gravel parking lot, a small restroom facility and concession stand and a boardwalk to the beach.

The proposed site is a short distance from the state park, a popular beach where the parking lot often fills on warm summer days. Seth Sprague, the head of the company, said the new park would alleviate crowding and ease traffic on Black Point Road by providing a longer entrance drive where up to 23 cars could wait.

At Scarborough Beach State Park, drivers have to stop almost immediately on turning in to the parking area to pay or show a pass to the rangers, causing traffic to back up into the street.

Opponents say the Sprague Corp. plan would change the nature of the neighborhood and contribute to noise and air pollution.

The board voted that the proposal meets the rules for a special exception as a commercial outdoor recreation development under the town’s rural and farming zone.

The next step for the proposal, barring a legal challenge to the ZBA’s decision, is to seek site plan approval from Scarborough’s Planning Board. Approvals from the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Maine Department of Transportation and the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department are also required.