Is this the end of the line for former cinema and community centre?

09:43 11 February 2014

The Regal Communitty Centre, littleport

The Regal Communitty Centre, littleport


Developers have applied for planning permission to demolish a former cinema and community centre in Littleport.

Buckingham and Sparrow has submitted an application to East Cambridgeshire District Council to bulldoze The Regal, in Hempfield Road, a community centre that has been in use for more than 50 years.

Earlier this year, The Vine Community Church was forced to move out of the building – which it had used for a number of years - and into shared premises with Littleport Methodist Church.

The move comes about a year after Buckingham and Sparrow offered to donate the centre and its car park to Littleport Parish Council.

The developer offered the building for the community in return for the district council waiving a requirement for it to build affordable homes on a 60-home development it was working on near the Highfields estate.

Every developer who constructs more than three houses in East Cambridgeshire is required to turn 30 per cent of the development over to affordable housing.

But despite support from the parish council and a local campaign, the offer was refused by the district council.

In its submission, Buckingham and Sparrow, which has owned the property for more than 10 years, said the building was “beyond economic repair” due to structural defects and asbestos.

A decision on the plans is expected within the next eight weeks. To view the plans, under the reference 14/00131/DEM, visit


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