Kevin Davies of Jericho Estates, who took over from previous developers CNM, who sat on their planning permission for 5 years, has kindly shared with the Society the pre-application proposals for this important grade 2 listed Art Deco cinema.
This follows an earlier opportunity to inspect the interior of the cinema and make suggestions for the best way forward to save the integrity of the building but find a workable contemporary use. Original plans for a a cinema, or a conference centre, or a music venue were all discounted.
The new proposals would see an upmarket hotel occupying their existing building, complete with a large ground floor restaurant and bar set within a restored interior and the retention of the proscenium arch. Above the hotel would be four floors of apartments, some ‘affordable’. Each with their own separate entrance, refuse area and lifts in what was the back stage area, and the previous service road.
The apartments would finance the restoration and creation of the hotel which would then be leased to an upmarket hotel chain. (Apparently this is a growing sector and hotels no longer aim to own their own buildings)
The new hotel ‘ The Regal’ would have 90 guests rooms, 52 new homes with a mixture of 1,2, and 3 bedroom dwellings and 16 affordable homes. We are not clear if these are additional to the 51 or part of the total.
The design of the new bolt on apartments will be key, Mr Davies agrees with us that the early stage designs have not yet managed to bridge the 100 year gap between old and new. Our view is that the scheme proposal overall is creative and achievable and appropriate. Our caveats only that the new extension needs to be brave, bold and remarkable and we question why the ‘poor doors’ approach between the (hardly likely to be affordable) and the market rate aspartaments.
To successfully repurpose a building is no easy feat and we look forward to seeing the plans develop. The appication is expected to be before the planning officers in the early new year.