Fresh bid to revamp former cinema site

PLANS to redevelop the former Ramsey Grand cinema are again set to become the centre of debate. New designs have been submitted for the site, which has been deserted for more than two years. Social landlord Luminus Group, which acquired the Great Whyte pl

PLANS to redevelop the former Ramsey Grand cinema are again set to become the centre of debate.

New designs have been submitted for the site, which has been deserted for more than two years.

Social landlord Luminus Group, which acquired the Great Whyte plot in 2005, has put forward its second full planning application, proposing 22 flats and two houses, as well as a public library and public toilets.

Planners at Huntingdonshire District Council refused the first application in July last year. The design of the buildings was said to be harmful to the appearance of the area and "entirely inconsistent with the character and appearance of this part of the town centre".

Now there is set to be a public meeting in Ramsey to consider the altered proposals for redevelopment of the old art deco cinema building, whose final credits rolled in June 2005.

The Luminus Group said the proposals had been re-designed to take into account the setting. A spokesman said the group had "continued to listen carefully to the views of the district council and other local stakeholders and made changes to how the building looks".

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The re-designed building would "relate well to adjacent buildings with regards to scale, height, massing, alignment and materials. This landmark building will improve both the quality and character of this area along the Great Whyte," he said.

The original plans put forward by Luminus Group were criticised by Ramsey Town Council.

At the time, Ramsey's mayor, Councillor Ian Walker, said proposals were "totally out of character with the surrounding buildings on what is probably the most important site in our Fenland market town".

A town council spokesman said the new application had been received too late to be added to last Thursday evening's meeting agenda and, as previously agreed, a public meeting would be held to gauge opinion.

Representatives from Luminus Group, HDC and the town's library are also invited to the meeting.

INFORMATION: The public meeting to discuss the new planning application will take place on September 6, at The George Hotel, at 7pm.

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