Thousands show online support for Bishop Auckland cinema scheme after planners recommend refusal

The Northern Echo: Residents survey the cinema plans at a public consultation held in 2012, the vast majority were in favour of the scheme Residents survey the cinema plans at a public consultation held in 2012, the vast majority were in favour of the scheme

ALMOST 1,000 people have signed an online petition calling for a cinema to be built on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland after a council recommended the scheme be rejected.

As previously reported in the Northern Echo, Durham County Council’s planning officers fear the proposed six-screen cinema with shops, restaurants and other leisure facilities at St Helen Auckland would severely damage trade in the nearby town centre.

But more than 5,500 people have joined a Facebook group calling for a cinema to be built in the town with 945 signing a new petition called Save Bishop Auckland Cinema.

The council’s planning committee will decide on the plans at their meeting on Tuesday, April 1, at County Hall in Durham.

Many cinema supporters said the town centre is already suffering but the development would bring jobs and visitors into the area.

One supporter, Damien Johnson, said: “The town centre is dead anyway, nothing but pound shops and pigeons.

“If anything this is what Bishop needs to bring the money in.”

But other people said the cinema should be built in the town centre itself rather than one and a half miles away in St Helen Auckland.

Michael Stainthorpe said: “The town needs a cinema but have it in the town to attract people to it rather than going no further than St Helens.”

In their statement to the council, developers Prestige Car Direct Properties said a proposal to replace the current town centre bus station with a cinema was too complicated, while retailers were not interested in the proposed development of vacant land at North Bondgate.

Online supporter Mark green said the Bondgate site was too small to accommodate a six screen cinema.

He said: “Do people want to settle for a quaint one or two screen cinema? I don’t.”

The applicants said the scheme would create more than 100 jobs and they would work with the council to ensure local people are employed there.

Objectors said they welcomed the proposed cinema but were opposed to the shops element saying it would drag further trade and businesses out of the town centre.

The meeting will start at 2pm in the council chamber.

Comments (5)

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11:16am Mon 31 Mar 14

cushybutterfield says...

Instead of another daft brainwashing Cinema lets have money spent on proper Flood defence's and create some more real job opportunities. Failing that spend the money on a new swimming pool and/or Library, something intelligent for a change for the kids.
Instead of another daft brainwashing Cinema lets have money spent on proper Flood defence's and create some more real job opportunities. Failing that spend the money on a new swimming pool and/or Library, something intelligent for a change for the kids. cushybutterfield
  • Score: -16

11:04pm Mon 31 Mar 14

rb-mike says...

A swimming pool we already have, 2 libraries we already have.....who uses them no one because in the digital age who wants to cart round a book when you can download 100s and keep them in your pocket. Also a library would create about 10 jobs......but then the 2 librarys we have would close leaving 20 with out a job.
Bringing in the cinema and shops would create 100 jobs and also bring people to the town centre for events. Its time to think outside the box.....bishop town is small with no room to expand, tiny shops isnt what retailers want and neither do the customers. St helens development has the space to expand and thats what we should be looking at. After all st helens or bishop town centre the money is still coming into the same area.
I work in the town centre and ive see the affects st helens development has on the town not to mention the financial effect it has on me personally due to lost over time but if they want to bring cinema and new shops closer to me im all for it, it saves me traveling to teesside for cinema and darlington / metro centre for shopping.....see and thats my money not going into the bishop auckland area at all.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX OR PUT ST HELENS DEVELOPMENT INTO THE SAME BOX!
A swimming pool we already have, 2 libraries we already have.....who uses them no one because in the digital age who wants to cart round a book when you can download 100s and keep them in your pocket. Also a library would create about 10 jobs......but then the 2 librarys we have would close leaving 20 with out a job. Bringing in the cinema and shops would create 100 jobs and also bring people to the town centre for events. Its time to think outside the box.....bishop town is small with no room to expand, tiny shops isnt what retailers want and neither do the customers. St helens development has the space to expand and thats what we should be looking at. After all st helens or bishop town centre the money is still coming into the same area. I work in the town centre and ive see the affects st helens development has on the town not to mention the financial effect it has on me personally due to lost over time but if they want to bring cinema and new shops closer to me im all for it, it saves me traveling to teesside for cinema and darlington / metro centre for shopping.....see and thats my money not going into the bishop auckland area at all. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX OR PUT ST HELENS DEVELOPMENT INTO THE SAME BOX! rb-mike
  • Score: 4

3:05pm Tue 1 Apr 14

darth151 says...

This is going to be refused, mark my words. It's probably a done deal before the vote. They will tell us that they are going to make the town centre a more attractive place for retails to come and spend millions papering over the cracks of the buildings that are still standing oh and revamp the market square.......again.
This is going to be refused, mark my words. It's probably a done deal before the vote. They will tell us that they are going to make the town centre a more attractive place for retails to come and spend millions papering over the cracks of the buildings that are still standing oh and revamp the market square.......again. darth151
  • Score: 1

7:25pm Tue 1 Apr 14

sweetie-cee says...

Whoop whoop... It's been passed!
Whoop whoop... It's been passed! sweetie-cee
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Tue 1 Apr 14

cushybutterfield says...

Instead of brainwashed violent 'daft Computer Games and Cinema Film's get your kids 'out and about' to the Seaside or Countryside. Their poor brains are full of 'violent Holly word Gun crazy violent nonsense', give them a break. Enlist in the 'Scout , Guide or Brownie movement and experience 'Real Life' and do something really positive, like helping the local environment for your children, instead of chaining them to churned out lazy artificial Hollywood media rubbish.
Instead of brainwashed violent 'daft Computer Games and Cinema Film's get your kids 'out and about' to the Seaside or Countryside. Their poor brains are full of 'violent Holly word Gun crazy violent nonsense', give them a break. Enlist in the 'Scout , Guide or Brownie movement and experience 'Real Life' and do something really positive, like helping the local environment for your children, instead of chaining them to churned out lazy artificial Hollywood media rubbish. cushybutterfield
  • Score: 0

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