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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 09:50 GMT
Campaign to restore cinema fails
The old ABC cinema in Tunbridge Wells
The old ABC cinema has been closed for four years
Planning permission for a housing development on the site of an old cinema in Kent has been granted despite a campaign to restore the venue.

Twelve affordable homes will now be built in place of the ABC cinema in Mount Pleasant Road, Tunbridge Wells, as well as a number of shops.

Developers GLN Copenhagen will also contribute to improving transport and educational facilities in the town.

Possible alternative sites for a cinema in the town will now be considered.

'Demand for cinema'

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council originally turned down permission for the development because it wanted a new cinema included on the site.

However, the inspector said that although there was an "identified demand" for a cinema the scheme would benefit "the important town centre site".

Laura Graham concluded that the site would have an uncertain future if it were dismissed, and there was a risk that benefits such as the provision of more shops and affordable housing would be lost.

Cllr Roy Bullock, the portfolio holder for planning, told BBC Radio Kent that he was "personally disappointed" at the decision.

However, he said public opinion would be taken into consideration in the search for an available site for a new cinema.


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