Conservation area the wrong place for St Neots cinema

I WRITE in response to the letter from Joy Winters (September 28) regarding St Neots cinema. I wish people would find out the facts before jumping to conclusions.

Why does she think the council planners voted against this development. Was it for the fun of it or could there be genuine reasons why this happened?

Nobody is against a cinema for St Neots. Nobody is arguing the fact that we need more facilities for the town. The argument is against the magnitude and site of this development.

All through these discussions about this development the council has referred to the “old fire station and recycling centre” sites. Very few people know or care that in this brief they have included the Huntingdonshire District Council car park, which is behind Lidl’s car park, and the area of the green that runs along the rest of the length of East Street. This whole area will be engulfed.

The cinema building alone is 22,000 sq ft. For comparison, B&Q in Eaton Socon is 24,000 sq ft. Along with this there are four restaurants and parking for 120 cars. The cinema will open from 10 am until 2.30am and the restaurants till midnight – all this 30ft from people’s homes.

The people in the immediate vicinity have had leaflets put through their doors showing what is intended. The majority of the town’s residents are unaware of the plans and think the complaints are because we don’t want it in our back yard.

This complex shouldn’t be in anybody’s back yard. Why haven’t the rest of the townspeople been shown what is really intended, instead of just the pretty artistic drawings that have been published in the paper? Could it be that they might then agree with us?

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The people who signed the petition did so after viewing the proposed plans, and most stated that it was not what or where they had thought it was going to be, and wanted to know why we needed something of this size.

This area should never have been considered in the first place, as the town centre and all the older parts, including East Street, are in a conservation area. There is no way that this development meets the conservation area criteria, and the councillors know this.


East Street

St Neots