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No say on the cinema

January 2, 2008 8:03 PM
By Kathy Canham in Brentwood Gazette

The decision to reject calls for a borough-wide consultation on the cinema and shopping complex plans has angered Liberal Democrat councillors.Cllr David Kendall, leader of the Lib Dem Group on Brentwood Borough Council, said many residents would be "dismayed and frustrated" after the Conservative-controlled administration voted against his motion at a full council meeting.

Halladale withdrew its planning application for the William Hunter Way development before Christmas and is expected to come back with revised plans.

The Lib Dems want every resident in the borough to be given an opportunity to express their opinions on the final plans through an article in the council's magazine, Vision.

Cllr Kendall said: "This development has been sold to residents as a cinema coming back to Brentwood - but the plans were about far more than just a cinema.

"They were proposing a massive development that would have had a major impact on the centre of Brentwood for years to come.

"The Liberal Democrats wanted residents to be consulted on the new plans to be submitted this year, so that they are given a proper say in the future of their town.

"I am sure many residents will be dismayed and frustrated when they hear this news."

Conservative councillor Phil Baker said: "We told the design team at Halladale to go back to the drawing board to redesign it.

"We have always said we would bring a cinema back to the town - that was one of the things we got back into power on.

"People realise now that you cannot just build a cinema. Economically you have to have things to support it.

"There are so many consultations on this, it is not true."