Cinema redevelopment plans passed

PROPOSALS to redevelop a redundant cinema into a £5m entertainment complex, including nightclub, have been given the green light - subject to the provision of a late running bus service.

PROPOSALS to redevelop a redundant cinema into a £5m entertainment complex, including nightclub, have been given the green light - subject to the provision of a late running bus service.

Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee yesterday gave the thumbs up for the conversion of the old Odeon cinema in St Helen's Street.

However they only agreed to give the development the go ahead if funding could be secured to provide a bus service for late night revellers.

Liberal democrat John Cooper, chairman of the borough council planning committee, said: “We are happy with the proposals in principal but officers have been asked to find out from the developers if there is a possibility to arrange some funding for a late night bus service.


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“There is currently no public transport running early in the morning when the club would finish and members thought it would be good to make a start because it is a great opportunity.

“There were concerns from police that they might find it difficult to keep a proper watch because of the other clubs in the town but if some form of public transport could be made available it would disperse the crowds and stop people having to walk miles home.”

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The five screen cinema, which was only built in the early 1990s, was closed last year and bought by Premier Leisure.

The company plans to spend £400,000 creating an eight-lane ten pin bowling alley on the ground floor, along with restaurant and sports bar, while the proposed second floor nightclub could stage special events including boxing tournaments.

Up to 1,860 people will be able to use the building at any one time, including 1,000 in the nightclub.

Ipswich planning officers recommended councillors give the go-ahead after the original proposal for the complex to stay open until 5am was amended to 3am, with last drinks being served at 2.30am

However, Suffolk police has expressed strong reservations about the development of yet another major entertainment complex in the town because they fear front line services could be stretched.

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