A SIX-SCREEN cinema for St Neots is expected to get the green light before Christmas in spite of town council objections.

Huntingdonshire District Council planners are recommending approval of the Turnstone Estates project, which includes four restaurant buildings with external seating area, three flats, together with a car park, play area, public plaza and thoroughfare, cycle parking and refuse collection facilities on the site of the former fire station, recycling centre and recreation ground in Huntingdon Street.

The proposal is that the cinema will be sited centrally within the site at the rear of the Lidl car parking area, with a 120-space car park and play area to the east, and the four restaurants between the cinema and Huntingdon Street.

The smallest of the cinema's six screens would have 53 seats and the largest 254 seats. The restaurants are to be sited in three groups, one as an extension to the cinema building and another in a separate building with the three flats above.

The opening hours now proposed are 9am to 12.30am every day, except for two screens that would be open until 2.30am on a Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday/Bank Holiday evening, with the 2.30am closing time limited to eight days in any one year.

Planners have received 24 letters of objection, as well as two petitions - one with 300 signatures objecting to the plan, the other with more than 2,200 names supporting the proposal.