Bury cinema plans finally revealed

RESIDENTS in a Suffolk town have been given a tantalising glimpse of a new state-of-the-art eight screen multiplex cinema.But the bosses behind Bury St Edmunds' brand new complex are keeping the plans under wraps by refusing to issue the layout plans to the press.

RESIDENTS in a Suffolk town have been given a tantalising glimpse of a new state-of-the-art eight screen multiplex cinema.

But the bosses behind Bury St Edmunds' brand new complex are keeping the plans under wraps by refusing to issue the layout plans to the press.

Instead residents will have to visit the Western Way offices of St Edmundsbury Borough Council to look at the planning application submitted by Cine UK for the cinema and associated food outlets.

While the applicants remained tight-lipped yesterday , a spokeswoman for the borough council said: “The copyright for the images of the plans is not owned by the council but by Cine UK.”

The diagrams include room for eight separate cinemas, four restaurants and improvements to the existing and adjacent car park areas as well as 60 spaces for cycles.

Improvements to the Parkway, including a new pedestrian crossing, are also planned and borough councillor Mike Ames, whose Abbeygate ward covers the site, urged residents to look at the plans.

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He said: “I think it is good news that the plans are now available to the public. It shows Cine UK, a national company and distributor of films, are prepared to invest in Bury St Edmunds and it is a big investment.

“We have waited a long time for this facility to happen and I hope that it will be given approval by my fellow councillors.

“The case has been proven that a cinema is wanted and I hope the residents in this part of the Abbeygate ward now accept it so everybody, present and future generations, can enjoy the multiplex.”

After years of debate and arguments, councillors gave their backing to a “Development Agreement” giving the go-ahead in principle for Cine UK to build the multiplex.

Planning permission for the cinema was originally granted in December 1998 but controversial plans to include a bar in the scheme eventually led to the entire project being dropped.

A spokeswoman for the borough council said the public now had 21 days to view the plans and make their feelings known before councillors discuss the project at a meeting before the end of the year.

But one former councillor has vowed to continue his long running fight against the cinema plans.

Speaking after current councillors agreed to back the plans, Brian Lockwood said: “I'm not a councillor anymore but that makes no difference - we don't need this cinema and the council won't walk over the residents living near the site.”

Mr Lockwood, who took the council to judicial review after planning permission was granted five years ago, added: “I'm not saying we will go to court, but its still on the wrong site and we will fight to make sure that they get it right.

“We've been keeping quiet but we are still here - now we will get the plans, study them and go from there.”

No one was available for comment at Cine UK yesterday .

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