St Neots gran shows support for cinema

PUBLISHED: 06:01 21 October 2011

Joy Winters, at St Neots Market Square, with her petition against the cinema

Joy Winters, at St Neots Market Square, with her petition against the cinema

Archant

AN 83-year-old grandmother who is desperate to see a cinema in St Neots set up a stall in the Market Square last week to gather support for the ‘yes campaign’.

AN 83-year-old grandmother who is desperate to see a cinema in St Neots set up a stall in the Market Square last week to gather support for the ‘yes campaign’.

Joy Winters, of Eaton Socon, hired a stall on Thursday (October 13) and was encouraging people to sign a petition that so far has attracted almost 2,000 signatures.

Mrs Winters now hopes Huntingdonshire District Council give planning permission for the six-screen cinema and restaurant complex on land to the east of Huntingdon Street.

“St Neots has lost everything over the years,” she said. “The pool was closed, the old cinema was closed in 1969 and now there’s nothing left for young people to do. This new cinema would be the first amenity in the town for a long time.

“Millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money is being spent in Huntingdon, and there’s nothing being put into St Neots. We need this to go ahead.”

However, the planned cinema complex is facing opposition because of its size and close proximity to nearby homes.

St Neots Town Council’s planning committee last month voted 4-2 against supporting the planning application, which has been lodged with HDC.

Concerns were raised about access for emergency vehicles, the additional volume of traffic passing through the town, smells generated by restaurants and the ‘failure’ by developer Turnstone Estates to provide a 3D model of the complex.

Margaret Cooke, of East Street, who, along with 40 other residents presented a 500-signature petition against the cinema to the planning committee said: “These people in favour of the cinema should find out the details before jumping on the ‘yes’ bandwagon. They do not understand what we’re protesting about.

“All we’re trying to say is that when people realise where the cinema is actually going, they’re against it.”

Both Mrs Cooke and Mrs Winters are meeting with Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly on Friday to discuss the project, before the application goes before HDC later this year.

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