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Plans for Regent Cinema in Deal gain the approval of campaign group Reopen the Regent after years of scrutiny

By Eleanor Perkins

Interior drawings of the proposed lay out of the new Regent Cinema have gained the approval of campaigners.

A spokesman for the Reopen The Regent group described the latest plans for the two screen cinema as “eminently sensible and achievable.”

It follows an almost five year drive to get the iconic seafront building opened and restored to its former use as a cinema having closed its doors as a bingo hall in 2009.

The latest plans for The Regent in Deal have been submitted to DDC (6236292)
The latest plans for The Regent in Deal have been submitted to DDC (6236292)

Last week we exclusively revealed that owners James Wallace and Mark Digweed have submitted the plans to Dover District Council for the two screens each with 104 seats.

Since then drawings of the interior have been released which got the backing of the ROTR group.

A statement released on Monday by them said: “Having a resource like this in Deal will be a huge benefit to the community we are delighted that Mr Wallace and and Mr Digweed have finally come up with something we think most people will be very happy with.

“We hope that the plans go through smoothly and quickly and that work can begin as soon as possible.”

“We will be checking with DDC why a change of use is necessary but otherwise have no objections.

“It has always been our aim to help to save this iconic building and bring a cinema to Deal, and continue to offer our support to the owners to bring this about.

“We wish them the best of luck.”

The proposed floorplan of The Regent Cinema (6286789)
The proposed floorplan of The Regent Cinema (6286789)

This interior floor plan, revealed here for the first time, shows the 120 cover restaurant and bar at the front of the building beneath a skylight and the screens are at the rear.

Along the internal wall, shared by the screen and the foyer, and restaurant will have a flexible third screen to broadcast live sports events or golden oldies.

The design also shows an ice-cream kiosk at the front of the building, a full catering kitchen and a mezzanine floor, seating up to 30, which will be available for private hire.

The entrance to the cinema will be via the south side of the building, with an outside veranda and terrace available in summer months.

A planning application to turn The Regent in Deal into a two screen cinema has been submitted (6236280)
A planning application to turn The Regent in Deal into a two screen cinema has been submitted (6236280)

A small section in the corner of the rear car park will be rented from Dover District Council for deliveries and waste bins.

This is the second design the owners have put forward since purchasing the freehold of the building in 2011.

The last set, revealed in this paper, included two options. Both had residential elements which proved unpopular with readers and ROTR members. The drawings were put to Dover District Council but were withdrawn in 2014 before it could be discussed by planners.

Mr Wallace and Mr Digweed describe this as the most “viable scheme”.

It does not include a residential space.

James Wallace and Mark Digweed with their latest set of plans (6100783)
James Wallace and Mark Digweed with their latest set of plans (6100783)

Mr Digweed and Mr Wallace say if approval is given, they hope to conduct a 12-month renovation programme opening next year and creating 15 to 20 jobs.

The plans were submitted to Dover District Council before Christmas and have since been validated. They can be seen at Dover.gov.uk/planning ref: 18/01395

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