Published: 00:00, 19 September 2014
| Updated: 11:16, 19 September 2014
A district councillor is calling for action over The Regent Cinema in Deal which she believes in an eyesore.
Following “no movement” to redevelop the building or improve it's exterior, Labour councillor Pam Hawkins has asked for something to be done.
She asked Cllr Nigel Collar at a full district council meeting in Dover on Wednesday, September 17, to clarify the situation, including any action being taken by the council to ensure the building is open and available for community as soon as possible.
She said: “Local residents have raised concerns about the lack of progress in bringing the Regent Cinema on Deal sea front back into use, seemingly caused in part by objections raised by Kent County Council.”
Cllr Collor replied: “The owners of The Regent are preparing a case to bring forward to discuss with our officers about the development and possible land purchase.”
The planning proposal for a cinema and cafe at the former Bingo Hall in Beach Street was submitted last year after owners James Wallace and Mark Digwood bought the premises in 2010.
A revised application was sent forwards in January 2014 but withdrawn in May after objections by Kent Highways, due to claims there wouldn’t be much room for loading and unloading deliveries.
Cllr Hawkins is keen for situation to be resolved, in one way or another.
She said: “If it is going to drag on much longer, has the council suggested to make good and improve the exterior of the building, it will make it less of an eyesore.”
In a letter to the editor, Cllr Hawkins reiterated: “I know local residents are concerned that the former Regent Cinema has been closed for far too long and is looking extremely dilapidated and neglected.
“While Deal Town Council, local businesses and residents have made major contributions to create an attractive outlook on the seafront, for the whole of the summer we have had two major eyesores - the building site immediately opposite the pier and the Regent cinema building. Whilst there is some progress on the site of the former Quarterdeck, there appears to be no movement on the site of the cinema.
“If work is not started soon I asked the council to serve a Section 215 Notice on the owners which would require them to make good and improve the exterior of the building.
“I was told the owners hope to submit new plans for the building soon - but if this does not happen then the Section 215 Notice would be an option to improve the look of the building.”
The owners are yet to comment.