Consent for a third screen at Bognor Picturedrome is withdrawn

Bognor Picturedrome
Bognor Picturedrome

A U-TURN has seen consent for a third screen at the Bognor Regis cinema withdrawn.

The sudden decision was made by Arun District Council planning officers after they realised the original permission was a blunder.

The mistake means the hopes of the Picturedrome’s operator for the £50,000 extra screen have been put on hold.

Adam Cunard, managing director of the Picturedrome Electric Theatre Company, said: “I am just appalled by what is an absolute blunder.

“I had been waiting a long time for this consent to come through and I was glad it had.

“I had already started making plans on the project for the new screen because these things take time.

“I am now going to have to put everything on hold and I’m going to be on tenterhooks again. It’s a big mistake for the council to have made.”

Mr Cunard applied for the permission for the third screen in his business role but he is also an independent district councillor for Bersted.

This means his application should have gone to the council’s development control committee to be decided, with an officer’s recommendation, under the council’s rules rather than the decision being made by an officer behind closed doors.

A district council spokeswoman said: “Following the initial assessment of the application for an additional screen at the Picturedrome cinema, it was determined the scheme should be approved.

“However, given that this application was submitted by a councillor, it is required that it be considered by the development control committee with a recommendation, rather than the decision be determined under delegated powers.

“It has, therefore, been decided to withdraw the decision notice and the development control committee will now determine the application.”

As reported, Mr Cunard wanted listed-building consent for a 45-seat screen in an unused room in the historic cinema. It is likely to be decided next month.