New plans, same old problems 20.06.12
The UCKG have now submitted their latest plans to the council for approval. The plans can be viewed here. The new element is six very compact screening rooms around the periphery of the main auditorium, totalling 690 seats. In other respects there is little change from the previous plans.
Crucially the main auditorium remains reserved for church use, with no meaningful access to non-UCKG members. SWC, the Cinema Trust and the McGuffins will be making representations, but it is important that individual residents also make their views known. See our main objections. Emails should be sent to email@example.com.
Trust is overwhelmed by local support 15.05.12
The Waltham Forest Cinema Trust has released a statement in response to the postponement of the inquiry.
“The Cinema Trust’s plans to transform the EMD are becoming stronger and more defined every day. Working in partnership with vibrant West End venue Soho Theatre and award-winning architects Ian Ritchie, we have clear, coherent plans to create one of the most exciting entertainment centres in East London.
With cinema, live performance and a community and education programme, we have the opportunity to create a unique cultural asset to benefit everyone in Waltham Forest whilst giving a tremendous boost to the evening economy and to the economic regeneration of the area. We’ve been overwhelmed by the depth of support for our plans and we are ever more determined to deliver on them.”
UCKG stalls planning appeal 14.05.12
The plannning inquiry scheduled for June has been postponed. It appears the UCKG have decided not to appeal the council’s decision but instead to pull together a radically new plan. The church has already had two applications for building works and change of use refused.
According to the Walthamstow Guardian, the planning inspectorate has said the alterations to the previous plan are so extensive that they must re-apply for permission from the council within the next month. The new application is said to include a church, training centre, cafe and six cinema screens.
Although the delay is incredibly frustrating for everyone who wants to see building brought back into use, one advantage is that it gives the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust more time to develop its own plan. Watch this space for more developments. For comment and discussion visit our Facebook page.
StreetLife Radio Interview 29.04.12
The campaign was interviewed by Streetlife Radio on Saturday 21st April.
Planning date set for Stadium 16.04.12
The SaveOurStow campaign will learn on May 8 what the future of the iconic Stadium will be.
In a history that has some parallels with that of the EMD, the stadium closed in 2008 and was bought by London and Quadrant (L&Q) Housing Association. The committee will decide between the merits of L&Q’s proposed housing development scheme, and SaveOurStow’s counter-proposal that preserves the dogtrack and includes some housing and additional leisure facilities. The campaign wants to preserve the borough’s heritage and asks supporters to join them on May 8th.
Cinema facelift finally revealed 16.04.12
The scaffold went up in November 2010 and this weekend it finally came down to show a freshly rendered facade.
The owner is currently appealing against the council’s refusal of planning permission to turn the building into a Church and the inquiry is due to begin in June.
Its first appeal, in 2003, failed and the second plan contains many of the same features.
Help us build the case for the Cinema 06.04.12
The next stage of the appeal is an inquiry in June where the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust will present an alternative plan for restoring the venue as a cinema and entertainment venue. We want the decision makers to know these plans have the backing of local businesses who could greatly benefit as a result.
We need your help to ask shops and businesses in Hoe Street, High Street and the wider E17 area to back the Trust’s plans by giving us a short statement of support. Each one who does will be invited to display a ‘Local business supports the Trust’ window sticker.
Statement of support forms can be downloaded here. The stickers will be available next week and we will arrange local pick-up points. Watch this space for details. If you are able to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Trust announces partnership with Soho Theatre 23.02.12
A restored and revived cinema came a step closer this week.
Waltham Forest Cinema Trust this week announced a partnership with Soho Theatre, a central London venue that has gone from strength to strength since receiving lottery funding in 2000.
The Trust has also put together a consultancy team that includes Ian Ritchie architects and five leading arts producers with a vast range of experience across the arts and leisure industries.
Together they will develop a detailed business plan in support of the Trust’s aim to ultimately bring the building back into use a a multi-purpose entertainment centre.
Mark Godfrey, executive director of Soho Theatre and board member of the Trust, said:
“I am delighted that we are working with such a high calibre of professionals on this project, it confirms the strength of our vision for the building and viability of our business plan.”
Soho Theatre is providing practical support and guidance both on fundraising and on how live performance could form part of the re-opened cinema’s entertainment bill.
UCKG Grounds for appeal are published 31.01.12
The church claims that their inclusion of some D2 (Entertainment) use, i.e. a hall for hire, was not sufficiently considered. They claim to have a record of improvement and care of historic buildings, and that fears about parking problems and congestion are unfounded. The full text is here. Don’t forget the deadline for sending your own comments is 21st. February. More information on our Appeal page.
How to comment on the Appeal 23.01.12
Take a look at our dedicated Appeal page. The Planning Inspectorate is reviewing the council’s decision and has the power to overturn it. We need to let them know the cinema is a local landmark, a huge part of our local heritage, and that we care about it. The deadline for sending comments is 21st. February.
UCKG apppeal confirmed 09.01.12
The appeal against the council’s 18 May decision has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate and an inquiry will be announced in due course. Meanwhile the deadline for interested party comments is 21st. February.
We encourage all our supporters to submit their views on why they oppose plans to turn the EMD cinema into a church. When the council unanaimously rejected the planning application on 18 May 2011, hundreds of supporters thronged the town hall, too many to get inside. Our May 18 decision page has videos and comments from the day and the main reasons we oppose the plans are listed here. Remind them that the e-petition on the Waltham Forest council asking the council to reject the planning application gathered 2266 signatures.
To submit a comment, go to the case details and click “Comment on this case” at the foot of the page. There are two linked planning applications – one relating to listed building consent and the other relating to the proposed development itself. You can comment on either. If you would like to speak at the Appeal you should note that in your comments.
Happy New year to all our supporters! 04.01.12
Here’s hoping 2012 will see the EMD at last restored as a public entertainment venue!
Still no news on planning appeal 04.01.12
Following the 18th. May planning rejection, the owners had 6 months to appeal. However November 18th. came and went with no clear indication as to whether an appeal had been lodged. According to the Waltham Forest Guardian, “a row between the council and the UCKG over the format of the appeal is behind the delay in making the appeal public”. The UCKG apparently favour written submissions while the council wants a full public inquiry. If and when an appeal is finally announced, the time available for the public to make submissions will start from the date of the announcement. Watch this space!
This photo, taken in December 2011, appears to show further disrepair, not to mention a cavalier attitude towards the safety of pedestrians. The scaffold has been in place since November 2010 when a piece of render fell from the facade, prompting the council to request repairs.
EMD ‘currently watertight’ 19.09.11
Although its facade has been hidden by tarpaulin and scaffold for almost a year, the EMD is still apparently in good condition. On 24th. August a joint inspection was carried out by English Heritage and the council’s conservation officer to ensure that the requested maintenance had been carried out. Their report says the roof is currently watertight and that the water systems have been turned off and drained.
In February this year shocking video footage appeared showing internal water damage and, following concern from local people, English Heritage have begun to play a more active role in safeguarding the Grade II* listed building. The scaffold was erected in November 2010 after a piece of render fell from the front of the building.
Trust and council to co-fund study on EMD future 08.09.11
Waltham Forest Cinema Trust have announced a study on the future of the EMD/Granada which will produce a feasibility study and business case to support further developments.
The Trust and council will each contribute £15k to the study. Announcing the study on 1st. September council leader Chris Robbins acknowledged the grass roots support for restoring the building as a cultural venue adding “I believe the Trust have the knowledge and expertise to make this work and I’m therefore happy to do what I can to bring their plans one small step closer to reality.”
Neil Gerrard, chair of the Trust said “The many discussions we’ve had with cinema operators, industry consultants and others convince us that a reborn cinema would be entirely viable”
Although the building is still owned by the UCKG, Cllr. Robbins said “I hope that the UCKG will seriously consider the Trust’s offer and that this long-vacant site can soon be brought back into use for the benefit of the local community.”