Cinema would dominate listed civic buildings

A rooftop extension to a purpose-built shopping centre on the edge of a Yorkshire town centre to provide a leisure destination has been rejected by an inspector because of its effect on listed buildings.

The scheme to provide a multi-screen cinema and eating and drinking outlets had been amended in design several times through the application stage and a further revision to the design was submitted with the appeal, intended to break down the bulk of the development with increased glazing and reduced height.

The existing shopping centre had been sympathetically designed to preserve the historic train station booking hall that it linked with, and the setting of the listed Grand Theatre. The inspector concluded that despite the efforts made by the appellants to achieve a suitable design, the scheme would still appear to tower over the station and harm the setting of heritage assets. Although this harm was judged to be less than substantial, the considerable economic benefits of the scheme and need for a cinema and more food and drink outlets in the town did not outweigh it and the appeal was dsmissed.

Inspector: Jonathan Hockley; Written representations

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