St Neots cinema to be dismantled and rebuilt

Aerial view of new cinema building in St Neots

Aerial view of new cinema building in St Neots - Credit: Archant

ST NEOTS new cinema is set to be dismantled less than a week before amended plans looked certain to be passed by Huntingdonshire District Council.

It comes after an architect’s error led to the £7million Rowley Arts Centre being built almost a metre too close to neighbouring homes.

Building work began at the site in November last year but was stopped in its tracks when residents in East Street whose houses back on to the site noticed the building was closer than plans stated.

Developers Turnstone Estates then applied for new planning permission with “minor amendments” which were approved by council officers and set to go before HDC’s Development Management Panel on Monday (May 20).

However, Turnstone announced today that they have withdrawn the application and will now rebuild part of the complex to comply with the original plans – which means the cinema set to be completed this September will not be ready until the new year.

Chris Goldsmith, of Turnstone Estates, said: “We have taken the unprecedented step of halting the existing work and having parts rebuilt to assuage any concerns that adjoining landowners may have.

“Although we are only talking about a few centimetres we believe that this is the best solution for all concerned and avoid further delay of these much wanted facilities.

Most Read

“All involved have acted in a thoroughly open and professional way, for which I am very grateful.”

Paul Halfpenny of Britannia Construction, the company responsible for building the complex, said: “This situation results from an error in design information provided to us by our lead design consultant.

“This inaccuracy, which was present from the earliest stages of the scheme, sadly wasn’t picked up by any members of the client, design or construction teams.

“As soon as the miscalculation was identified we have dealt quickly and efficiently to ensure that our client’s instructions are fully complied with, along with our contractual obligations to discharge in accordance with the planning consent.”

The cinema, which was set to open in September, is now not expected to be finished until January 2014.