Monday 15 July 2024
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Government inspectors will decide fate of cinema redevelopment

The Government’s Planning Inspectorate will be asked to decide the fate of a major Warsop development after discussions on plans to close off a footpath reached a stalemate.

The path, behind Burns Lane and Church Street, needs to be shut so the new development at the former Strand Cinema can go ahead.

If the development does start, the vacant former cinema will be demolished so it can be turned into a new retail park.

The plans, put forward by the ARBA Group in 2019, were approved in October of the same year but no progress has been made.

This is because the proposals hinge on the footpath being legally closed off so demolition and construction work can begin.

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However, a long-standing objection from a nearby business has meant no agreement on whether to close off the footpath can be found.

Council planning documents say The Plough Inn pub, on Church Street, has objected to the loss of the path as it would stop access to its delivery yard.

The pub says there would be no other means of access, which could result in the closure of the business.

The objection has meant the ARBA Group has been unable to bring forward its scheme and caused the redevelopment to be delayed.

And Mansfield District Council says it cannot determine whether the footpath should be closed off due to the pub’s objection still standing.

The authority’s planning committee has now approved plans to ask Government inspectors for help in deciding the issue.

The move was signed off by councillors on Monday (December 19).

In a report, council officers said: “Given the outstanding objection … the committee cannot confirm the closure of the footpath at this time.

“Therefore, it must be referred to the planning inspectorate for determination, unless the objection is withdrawn.”

If inspectors decide to close the footpath and view the pub’s objection as “unreasonable”, it could be told to pay costs to The ARBA Group.

The applicant has told the council access would still be provided to the pub and that its planned path closure won’t impact the business.

It added that, once the development is complete, a “secure, lit, compliant route” will be created in its place via the retail park.

In planning documents, the applicant said: “The closure enables the development of a consented scheme.

“When complete, [this] will then provide a secure, lit, compliant route between Church Street and Burns Lane via the car park.

“The scheme will provide parking and allow pedestrians to safely leave the scheme exiting onto Church Street and the existing pelican crossing.

“In our view, the closure enabling the scheme to be developed will provide a considerably improved landscape between Burns Lane and Church Street.

“The development of the site will produce a much-enhanced environment with safer routes around the town and much better connectivity.”

When it first revealed the plans, the ARBA Group said five retail units and office space will be created in place of the derelict former cinema.

It added the plans would “generate opportunities” for the wider area.

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