Fresh hitch to town's cinema project

By Benedict O'ConnorTHE construction of a long-awaited multi-million-pound multiplex cinema could be delayed due to last-minute planning problems.Work on the controversial eight-screen complex, due to be built in Parkway in Bury St Edmunds, was scheduled to start this month.

By Benedict O'Connor

THE construction of a long-awaited multi-million-pound multiplex cinema could be delayed due to last-minute planning problems.

Work on the controversial eight-screen complex, due to be built in Parkway in Bury St Edmunds, was scheduled to start this month.

However, although planning permission has been granted for the scheme, St Edmundsbury Borough Council officers said they had not yet received all the information they required so work could start.


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A council spokesman said: “We have not yet received the final details of the application and it is not until we have got all of that information that they can begin.”

But Cine-UK, which is behind the multiplex scheme, said everything was still on schedule and work was expected to start at the Parkway site later this month, with a planned completion date of spring 2005.

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Plans to build a cinema on the site have been dogged by problems since the scheme was first mooted about seven years ago.

A previous project was halted by residents who live close to Parkway and took St Edmundsbury Borough Council to a judicial review over its handling of the case.

When permission was finally granted last December, computer-generated images of what the entertainment complex will finally look like were derided as “tatty”.

Concerns have also been raised the new building would be out of character with the town's rich architectural heritage.

David Rees, of architectural watchdog the Bury Society, said: “We don't expect it to look like the Athenaeum or the Guildhall, but it doesn't have to look so cheap and nasty.”

But agents from Cine-UK have responded to criticism, stating the complex was designed to sit within the context of its surroundings.

benedict.o'connor@eadt.co.uk

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