St Neots: Cinema Must Be Moved

An £8 million pound cinema complex in St Neots must be dismantled, after being built almost a metre out of place.

Construction work on the project [artist impression - right] started earlier this year, and was expected to be completed in September.

However the setback means it will now not likely be open until January next year.

Building work was delayed after contractor Britannia Construction and developer Turnstone Estates agreed that the complex was being erected marginally in the wrong location.

The developer submitted a revised planning application after it was discovered parts of the buildings were slightly closer to the site's north wall than expected.

However that application is now being withdrawn, and the project will be rebuilt in accordance with the original blueprint.

The plan is for a six-screen Cineworld cinema, as well as four restaurants including Frankie & Benny's, Pizza Express and Prezzo.

There will also be three flats, a public plaza and parking for cars and bikes.

Chris Goldsmith of Turnstone says: "We have taken the unprecedented step of halting the existing work and having parts rebuilt to assuage any concerns that adjoining landowners may have. 

Although we are only talking about a few centimeters we believe that this is the best solution for all concerned and avoid further delay of these much wanted facilities. 

All involved have acted in a thoroughly open and professional way, for which I am very grateful." 

Steve Wiener of Cineworld says: "This is unfortunate news but the good news is that we are still on track to opening our cinema in St Neot’s, albeit now early in the New Year" 

Paul Halfpenny of Britannia Construction adds: "This situation results from an error in design information provided to us by our lead design consultant. 

This inaccuracy, which was present from the earliest stages of the scheme, sadly wasn’t picked up by any members of the client, design or construction teams. 

As soon as the miscalculation was identified we have dealt quickly and efficiently to ensure that our client’s instructions are fully complied with, along with our contractual obligations to discharge in accordance with the planning consent"

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