To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for an extension to side including alterations to frontage and replacement windows of existing cinema.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer set out an application for an extension to side including alterations to frontage and replacement windows of existing cinema at Rodney Cinema, Caxton Street, Wetherby, LS22 6RY.
The Panel was advised that since the Panel Papers had been published amended plans had been received and the side elevation of the cinema would now be offset from the adjacent neighbouring property at no. 17 Crossley Street by 1.5m for the full length of the extension.
Members had visited the site earlier in the day where changes to the plans had been explained. Photographs and plans were shown throughout the presentation and during discussions.
Members were informed of the following points:
· The extension is part of a wider plan to refurbish the cinema, splitting the auditorium into two to provide two screens to offer wider film choice;
· Cllr. Lamb had requested that the application be brought to Panel for consideration as he had a number of concerns including design;
· The site is within the conservation area and has been identified as a positive building with the conservation area;
· The proposal is for a single storey extension which would comprise of entrance with accessible ramp, toilet facilities, and café/bar area;
· The current entrance to be block up would be used as staff area and offices;
· This is an original art deco cinema and it is proposed that all external features would remain including the arches;
· The bin store would be to the side of the new extension;
· A lantern style roof is proposed on the extension;
· Permit only parking in the area and there are currently no issues;
· The rear door to be of obscure glaze to restrict overlooking onto neighbouring properties;
· The applicant has worked with planning officers and listened to the comments of the residents;
· The height of the extension has been lowered and the materials altered but still has a contemporary design;
· The refurbishment and extension are to ensure that the future of the cinema is sustainable and accessible to all;
· Opening hours of the café/bar can be controlled by conditions.
Cllr. Lamb and Mr Chesterfield, Architectural Caseworker for the Cinema Association attended the meeting and provided the following points to the Panel:
· This had been a tricky application from start to finish as opinion was divided in Wetherby;
· The community want a cinema in Wetherby that will do well and be sustainable;
· The new owners were praised for their engagement with the residents and that they had taken on the ideas put forward;
· This venture has been bought as a profitable business, the previous owners did have concerns in relation to two screens;
· Concerns had been raised in relation to the café/bar and that this element of the business would take over from the cinema;
· In splitting the auditorium there would be 31 fewer seats;
· A suggestion for limiting the sale of alcohol be considered and a closing time of 10:30pm was proposed;
· The community want to protect the history of the cinema;
· The main design corner relates to the loss of the original internal layout and soft furnishings by splitting it into two screens
Speakers for the recommendation Mr Hewitt, Mr Tate and Ms Dickinson informed the Panel of the following:
· The application complies with policy and legislation and the owners and architect had worked closely with planning officers taking all comments from residents and officers on board;
· Reductions had been made to the height and the width of the extension;
· Lowered floor levels;
· Use of obscure glazing to rear door;
· Ensure accessibility policy is complied with;
· Taken care to ensure external features are retained;
· New entrance area would provide a comfortable lounge area and alleviate queuing on the street;
· Would be requesting 1 hour less than currently licensed for sale of alcohol;
· The new extension will provide a lovely vibrant area;
· The cinema would be able to provide a greater variety of events cinema appealing to wider audiences;
· Creation of jobs within the area.
Members’ discussions included the following points:
· Current ticket sales;
· Viability of the cinema;
· Proposed layout and design of the refurbishments and new extension;
· Use of the outside area and potential noise issues;
· Licensable activities although it was noted that Licensing Committee would deal with this issue;
· Queried the loss of the existing corner entrance and asked if this could be revisited and retained.
Members were complimentary about certain aspects of the design, the accessibility for all, and the investment into the business.
RESOLVED – To grant permission subject to conditions set out in the submitted report and to defer and delegate specific details pertaining to the entrance to officers.