Planning permission for new Cirencester cinema complex at Brewery Court challenged in High Court

An artist's impression of the cinema complex in Cirencester's Brewery Court

An artist's impression of the cinema complex in Cirencester's Brewery Court

First published in News by

A HIGH Court challenge has been launched against Cotswold District Council’s decision to grant planning permission for a new cinema and entertainment complex in Cirencester’s Brewery Court.

Last November members of CDC’s planning committee overturned a recommendation to refuse the building of the entertainment complex, which includes a four screen cinema, six shops, four restaurants and a 110-bed hall of residence.

Cirencester Estates Limited, which owns a number of commercial properties in the town centre, has applied for a judicial review into the council’s decision to grant planning permission to Wildmoor Properties for the development.

The London-based firm called in its solicitors after discovering that Wildmoor’s plans would have a direct impact on one of its properties.

Michael Lockhart-Smith, development director at Cirencester Estates Limited, said: “Unbeknown to us, and without being consulted, the proposed Wildmoor scheme involved the extension of the WHSmith unit and requires the demolition of the rear wall of 19-21 Castle Street.”

While the company said the development has “merits for the future prosperity and viability of the town centre”, it echoed the concerns raised by English Heritage last year.

In a letter to CDC planning officer Mike Napper, English Heritage said that if a cinema is to be built in Cirencester it must be of a good design that reflects the town’s character.

It read: “In our opinion, the provision of a cinema can be achieved within these parameters, but this scheme fails to do so.”

When the application went before the committee last year, CDC had received 28 objecting letters and 43 letters of support.

Cotswold District Council has since told the Standard that it will not be defending the challenge as it had learnt that Wildmoor was preparing to submit a modified application in light of a proposal to convert the Niccol Centre into a youth hostel.

Plans for the 49-bed Arts Youth Hostel, which would be the first of its kind in the country, were submitted by New Brewery Arts in February.

Wildmoor’s original plans involved reconfiguring the first floor of the Niccol Centre into a new multi-purpose arts facility complete with an adjoining sculpture terrace.

A spokesman for Wildmoor said: “The revised plans, which are set to be submitted for planning permission on Wednesday, April 2, will create a courtyard space in front of the Niccol Building.

“Wildmoor remains committed to delivering the Brewery Court scheme as quickly as possible and providing the town centre with the much needed boost that it will inevitably bring.”

Comments (14)

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7:16am Thu 3 Apr 14

Olly Cromwell says...

What a surprise...buffers hit already !

Wildmoor are such amateurs.

So, the Niccol Centre is now to be a Youth Hostel?
What a surprise...buffers hit already ! Wildmoor are such amateurs. So, the Niccol Centre is now to be a Youth Hostel? Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 1

9:22am Thu 3 Apr 14

Jessica Rabbit says...

Where is the Niccol centre?

I hope the cinema plans are thrown out as it is a ridiculous place to build it... Yes, we need a cinema... But NOT there! CDC should at locations on the outskirts of town where there is space not only for a cinema but for free parking too!

And while we are on the subject... Cirencester does NOT need aggie student accommodation in the town centre either... madness... even the police voted against this idea to place this accommodation above the cinema. If this happens, I for one will be leaving this town.
Where is the Niccol centre? I hope the cinema plans are thrown out as it is a ridiculous place to build it... Yes, we need a cinema... But NOT there! CDC should at locations on the outskirts of town where there is space not only for a cinema but for free parking too! And while we are on the subject... Cirencester does NOT need aggie student accommodation in the town centre either... madness... even the police voted against this idea to place this accommodation above the cinema. If this happens, I for one will be leaving this town. Jessica Rabbit
  • Score: 4

9:27am Thu 3 Apr 14

Jessica Rabbit says...

OK I just googled it... the Niccol centre is next door to Brewery art where they hold music events. I never knew it was called that!
OK I just googled it... the Niccol centre is next door to Brewery art where they hold music events. I never knew it was called that! Jessica Rabbit
  • Score: 5

10:52am Thu 3 Apr 14

Rex Cooper says...

Jessica Rabbitt ........ What evidence do you have for " Cirencester does not need aggie student accommodation ? As a matter of fact it does..... and goodbye
Jessica Rabbitt ........ What evidence do you have for " Cirencester does not need aggie student accommodation ? As a matter of fact it does..... and goodbye Rex Cooper
  • Score: -9

10:58am Thu 3 Apr 14

mr fleas says...

From the images available, it looks like a bunker, maybe acceptable in a new town but not here. Brings to mind brutalism. Did people really write in in support of the design, or just the idea of a cinema?

Jessica, I disagree with the idea of locating it on the outskirts. The town's getting bigger as it is without spreading its amenities further afield. It belongs at the heart of the town. It just needs a more sympathetic design. But I share your view on the Ag. U. student accommodation. It seems like some deal which requires more public transparency.
From the images available, it looks like a bunker, maybe acceptable in a new town but not here. Brings to mind brutalism. Did people really write in in support of the design, or just the idea of a cinema? Jessica, I disagree with the idea of locating it on the outskirts. The town's getting bigger as it is without spreading its amenities further afield. It belongs at the heart of the town. It just needs a more sympathetic design. But I share your view on the Ag. U. student accommodation. It seems like some deal which requires more public transparency. mr fleas
  • Score: 1

1:38pm Thu 3 Apr 14

number10 says...

Build it in the town centre as proposed

break from the norm, maybe we don't need another out of town development!

put some time and money into the actual centre of town, it can only be a good thing for the vast majority of shops
if some suffer, or indeed one particular company suffers, so be it

its called progress

coupled with a square redevelopment, Cirencester is improving
New Kings head too, all adding to what we already have.....

can not comment on Wildmoor, i know nothing about them, as i suspect is the case for the vast majority of people in Cirencester.

Get it built!
Build it in the town centre as proposed break from the norm, maybe we don't need another out of town development! put some time and money into the actual centre of town, it can only be a good thing for the vast majority of shops if some suffer, or indeed one particular company suffers, so be it its called progress coupled with a square redevelopment, Cirencester is improving New Kings head too, all adding to what we already have..... can not comment on Wildmoor, i know nothing about them, as i suspect is the case for the vast majority of people in Cirencester. Get it built! number10
  • Score: 3

5:25pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Jessica Rabbit says...

Rex Cooper.... If you read my post correctly it states Aggie student accommodation is not needed in the town centre.... It may be needed, BUT NOT THERE!! And yes, I can have an opinion as many Aggie students have caused my family nothing but upset for many years, I know what it is like to live by them. It is horrid.

Regarding the position of the cinema, when I say outskirts, I mean not in the centre... What is wrong with the vacant land next to Pebley beach on Chesterton lane it's been an eyesore for years or the building/land by Tesco Kingsmeadow instead of Aldi having it!
Rex Cooper.... If you read my post correctly it states Aggie student accommodation is not needed in the town centre.... It may be needed, BUT NOT THERE!! And yes, I can have an opinion as many Aggie students have caused my family nothing but upset for many years, I know what it is like to live by them. It is horrid. Regarding the position of the cinema, when I say outskirts, I mean not in the centre... What is wrong with the vacant land next to Pebley beach on Chesterton lane it's been an eyesore for years or the building/land by Tesco Kingsmeadow instead of Aldi having it! Jessica Rabbit
  • Score: 9

9:09am Fri 4 Apr 14

Geoff66 says...

Don't mind the cinema and shops, but wouldn't the student accommodation be best sited up at the University rather than in the centre of town?? Not sure we need the students to help regenerate the town and it's facilities and amenities
Don't mind the cinema and shops, but wouldn't the student accommodation be best sited up at the University rather than in the centre of town?? Not sure we need the students to help regenerate the town and it's facilities and amenities Geoff66
  • Score: 9

8:55am Sun 6 Apr 14

cirencabbie says...

Never mind how it looks - it just should not be there for access and parking reasons. Usual total lack of joined up thinking/corruption that we have come to expect. Most definitely NOT progress in any shape or form.
Never mind how it looks - it just should not be there for access and parking reasons. Usual total lack of joined up thinking/corruption that we have come to expect. Most definitely NOT progress in any shape or form. cirencabbie
  • Score: 1

8:24am Mon 7 Apr 14

Iansky says...

I agree with other comments, the Cinema should be part of a complex on the outskirts of town rather than the centre - they could make it into a complex with eatery co located so families can make it a night out with food, entertainment and sufficient "free" parking.

We have enough problems from the Aggie students and their drunken antics / disregard for others so no way would we benefit from having them living int the centre of town.

I am glad this project has been halted and lets hope the people responsible for running this review see through the palm greasing that appears once more to be going on.
I agree with other comments, the Cinema should be part of a complex on the outskirts of town rather than the centre - they could make it into a complex with eatery co located so families can make it a night out with food, entertainment and sufficient "free" parking. We have enough problems from the Aggie students and their drunken antics / disregard for others so no way would we benefit from having them living int the centre of town. I am glad this project has been halted and lets hope the people responsible for running this review see through the palm greasing that appears once more to be going on. Iansky
  • Score: 2

7:17pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Crispin Mount says...

So, the developer who was sold the Corn Hall site by Cotswold District Council back in 2007 and which is still struggling with completing the Kings Head Hotel a full 7 years later "remains committed....to delivering the scheme...as quickly as possible." Right.
So, the developer who was sold the Corn Hall site by Cotswold District Council back in 2007 and which is still struggling with completing the Kings Head Hotel a full 7 years later "remains committed....to delivering the scheme...as quickly as possible." Right. Crispin Mount
  • Score: 3

8:30am Tue 8 Apr 14

Iansky says...

Crispin Mount wrote:
So, the developer who was sold the Corn Hall site by Cotswold District Council back in 2007 and which is still struggling with completing the Kings Head Hotel a full 7 years later "remains committed....to delivering the scheme...as quickly as possible." Right.
Call me cynical but they obviously see a much greater financial return from this new scheme so are making promises that we may never see them keep.

Once more it appears there may have been some underhand dealing going on as no normal person would employ them again following their sad performance and lame excuses over the Kings Head debacle!
[quote][p][bold]Crispin Mount[/bold] wrote: So, the developer who was sold the Corn Hall site by Cotswold District Council back in 2007 and which is still struggling with completing the Kings Head Hotel a full 7 years later "remains committed....to delivering the scheme...as quickly as possible." Right.[/p][/quote]Call me cynical but they obviously see a much greater financial return from this new scheme so are making promises that we may never see them keep. Once more it appears there may have been some underhand dealing going on as no normal person would employ them again following their sad performance and lame excuses over the Kings Head debacle! Iansky
  • Score: 4

10:56am Tue 8 Apr 14

Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum says...

"Once more it appears there may have been some underhand dealing going on ...."

Nail ...... head .... on .... the .... hit ..... the ......
"Once more it appears there may have been some underhand dealing going on ...." Nail ...... head .... on .... the .... hit ..... the ...... Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
  • Score: 4

12:16am Wed 9 Apr 14

jedthered says...

Jessica Rabbit wrote:
Where is the Niccol centre? I hope the cinema plans are thrown out as it is a ridiculous place to build it... Yes, we need a cinema... But NOT there! CDC should at locations on the outskirts of town where there is space not only for a cinema but for free parking too! And while we are on the subject... Cirencester does NOT need aggie student accommodation in the town centre either... madness... even the police voted against this idea to place this accommodation above the cinema. If this happens, I for one will be leaving this town.
The town center during the week is like a western ghost town, i swear i have seen tumble weed roll down Castle Street on a bleak wednesday night. This town needs a cinema in the middle of the town, pubs clubs and resturants are empty during the week, and only come alive at the weekend, a cinema in the centre of town will bring in people from all over the nearby area, thereby using all the local amenities. If Stroud a town half the size of Ciren can have a vibrant night life most of the week, then Cirencester and the surrounding district could have the same.
A thought on the Police station, would not this be a idea building to convert into student accommadation.
[quote][p][bold]Jessica Rabbit[/bold] wrote: Where is the Niccol centre? I hope the cinema plans are thrown out as it is a ridiculous place to build it... Yes, we need a cinema... But NOT there! CDC should at locations on the outskirts of town where there is space not only for a cinema but for free parking too! And while we are on the subject... Cirencester does NOT need aggie student accommodation in the town centre either... madness... even the police voted against this idea to place this accommodation above the cinema. If this happens, I for one will be leaving this town.[/p][/quote]The town center during the week is like a western ghost town, i swear i have seen tumble weed roll down Castle Street on a bleak wednesday night. This town needs a cinema in the middle of the town, pubs clubs and resturants are empty during the week, and only come alive at the weekend, a cinema in the centre of town will bring in people from all over the nearby area, thereby using all the local amenities. If Stroud a town half the size of Ciren can have a vibrant night life most of the week, then Cirencester and the surrounding district could have the same. A thought on the Police station, would not this be a idea building to convert into student accommadation. jedthered
  • Score: 9

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