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Planners advised to throw out flats scheme at former EMD Cinema in Gravesend


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Planners have been advised to refuse permission for a project to build 53 flats on the site of a former cinema.

Gravesham council's planning committee will meet tonight at 7pm to discuss the scheme, which would see the former EMD Cinema in King Street, Gravesend, transformed into six flats with a work-hub on the ground floor, with a new building containing 47 flats built to the rear.

The derelict cinema could be transformed into flats with a workspace. Picture: Google Maps
The derelict cinema could be transformed into flats with a workspace. Picture: Google Maps

Applicants Lali Enterprises Ltd hope to include 22 car parking spaces, four disability spaces and 54 cycle spaces on the site, which was taken over by The United Church of the Kingdom of God in 2002, and used as a community centre up until 2006.

In 2009 a large fire destroyed the auditorium roof and the majority of the building, apart from the front elevation which can be seen from King's Street.

A report set to go before the committee noted the proposal would offer a "substantial contribution" towards meeting housing targets, adding: "Furthermore, this development would redevelop a vacant and underused which has been vacant for many years, would be a sustainable form of development in relation to location and construction methods.

"The plans would provide sufficient refuse storage, be acceptable in respect of parking and highway safety, flood risk and drainage and contaminated land (subject to conditions)."

Nevertheless, it states those factors were not enough to bring a recommendation to approve, adding: "However, notwithstanding this the proposed development would be unacceptable in design and heritage terms, the amenity of future occupiers and neighbouring properties and as it currently stands, and it would not protect the Thames Estuary and Marshes SPA/Ramsar site.

"The plans would provide sufficient refuse storage, be acceptable in respect of parking and highway safety, flood risk and drainage and contaminated land..."

"It is considered that the adverse impacts of the development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the NPPF (2021) and established local policy taken as a whole.

"In this case the balance is tilted towards refusal as set out in the analysis section of this report."

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