Cinema design comes under fire

A CONSERVATION group is demanding plans for a multiplex cinema should be thrown out unless the building's "bland" design is changed.The Suffolk Preservation Society claims the design for the proposed multi-million pound eight-screen complex at The Parkway in Bury St Edmunds is not modern or contemporary in appearance.

A CONSERVATION group is demanding plans for a multiplex cinema should be thrown out unless the building's "bland" design is changed.

The Suffolk Preservation Society claims the design for the proposed multi-million pound eight-screen complex at The Parkway in Bury St Edmunds is not modern or contemporary in appearance.

It has written to St Edmundsbury planners stating the council would be making a "major mistake" by approving the latest design made public in October.

The society says although it supports the principal of developing a multiplex cinema on the site, its proposed design is not acceptable and that the application should be refused.


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In the letter society director Richard Ward, said: "The proposal does not meet the challenge of the site or the 21st Century. The design has no reference to Suffolk and can be seen anywhere.

"It is not modern or contemporary in appearance and will soon be dated. If constructed it will probably be seen as a mistake and a missed opportunity. The society believes that the borough council's response to this proposal is a test in assessing its approach to modern architecture in the town.

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"Approving this application will only encourage other sites to be developed with equally substandard developments."

The group is also disappointed the authority did not take the opportunity of taking free and independent advice from The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) over the design of the complex.

Mr Ward claims CABE's expertise would have ensured the design of the scheme would be modern and outstanding and hass urged planners to seek its assistance before it is too late.

"The proposed design is like a 1930s shopping mall and is very bland. This is not an example of interesting architecture.

"We do not have any constraints in this area and should be trying to create something, modern and very exciting. We would therefore ask that the borough council does not approve this application in its current form."

David Rees chairman of the Bury Society has also raised concerns over the designs of the complex.

He said: "It looks a bit dull, it should be enterprising with curves and domes. We do not think The Parkway is an ideal place for two pedestrian crossings, we think there ought to be some kind of bridge. There should be a drop-off point for young people so parents can drop-off and pick-up their kids in front of the cinema."

The matter is due to go before St Edmundsbury's development control committee on Thursday, December 4.

A spokesman for the authority said: "The society's letter is being included into the committee's reports for members to consider."

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