YEARS of delays to the ambitious cinema scheme in Cirencester have left an area in the centre of the town looking increasingly run down and neglected, according to local councillors.

In November 2017, three years after planning consent was first granted for the £48 million project at Brewery Court, property developer Wildmoor (Cirencester Ltd) demolished the old Jungle building.

The breakthrough groundworks met the deadline for planning consent expiring, and meant that a new planning application would not be needed.

However, more than one year later there has been no further work and the cinema is no closer to being built. Watermoor ward town councillor Jenny Hincks is now concerned that the area is falling into disrepair.

“It is so sad to see the area looking run down. It is unfair that people have to look at this site for much longer,” she said.

“Residents tell me constantly that they would love to see a cinema, but Cotswold District Council say that they can’t do anything because Wildmoor have complied with all the planning rules.

“We need to move this forward. The shops that were closed, including Bramley’s, have been boarded up, which is a bit of an improvement, but it would be better if these buildings could be used, perhaps for community shops or for events.”

Cllr Hincks said that she had written to Wildmoor managing director Mark Booth for answers but had received no reply.

Councillor Joe Harris, Liberal Democrat leader on Cotswold District Council, is dismayed at the lack of progress with the cinema scheme and the resulting look of the area.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

“In the centre of our town we have an eyesore. It is very frustrating.”

Cotswold District Council confirmed that there had been no new developments since Jungle was demolished in 2017.

Deputy mayor Councillor Patrick Coleman, who sits on the council’s planning and licensing committee said: “He (Mark Booth) was responsible for the Kings Head scheme, which took seven years while the hotel was closed, but on balance has been worth waiting for.”

The proposed development in Brewery Court, approved by the council in November 2014, was originally planned to be completed in summer 2017 and includes a four-screen cinema (operated by Everyman Media), six shops, four restaurants and student accommodation.

One new shop, Elite Beds, has since opened on the derelict site, in place of the Wendy House.

Director Andrew Pearce said: “The property is owned by Tesco and there is a clause in my contract that if the development goes ahead they would give me six months notice.

Mark Booth and Wildmoor (Cirencester Ltd) were unavailable for a comment.