Friday, January 7, 2011

St Neots Town Council is giving up land for cinema

At the next St Neots Town Council meeting starting at 7.15pm on Thursday 13th January 2011, Turnstone Estates will be making a pitch for the cinema development to the Councillors. The Town Council is sitting on a piece of land at Shady Walk which Turnstone Estates needs for Car Parking. Big Yellow Taxi comes to mind.
Seeing that the political pressure is on for a quick fix to have a cinema, whatever cinema, in St Neots then we will have to sit back and watch the whole ludicrous political game play out.
I will be interested to see what Turnstone actually comes up with. Will it be the 7 screen cinema including a theatre auditorium as promised? Or will it be less? What of the local residents and the loss of Urban Open Space when much, but not all, of the Shady Walk area becomes tarmac.

I'm not against development. Though I do believe we should be preserving urban open land rather than putting it under tarmac. In the end this is a political decision over whether the politicians have the nerve to hold out for what St Neots wants - a BIG CINEMA - or whether they take the gamble and go for a much, much smaller cinema and hope they get away with it with the public. The St Neots public will not be satisfied with a small cinema and some of our local politicians will be scratching their heads as to why.

Turnstone Estates are probably calculating that our St Neots politicians want a cinema at all costs and will be willing to bypass planning policies and their own policies to get a cinema. My advice is surprise them. St Neots Town Council should dig their heals in unless Turnstone Estates delivers what is promised.

As a cinema goer I want to be able to see the next Avatar 3D on a big screen rather than in a pokey room. For that I will travel.

The whole thing is heading for a mess. The Town Council should hold firm if it going to give away this land to Turnstone and the Town Council should say: "We want a 7 screen cinema including a theatre auditorium, the size of one in Bedford or Huntingdon or you don't get the land!" Simples.

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