How to object to the plans to destroy the cinema

Firstly, what are we opposing?

The Developer’s Application documents can be directly accessed here (Google Drive folder) and via the Bristol City Council’s Planning Portal

The documents show that the Developer wants to: 

  1. Get rid of the historic art deco cinema
  2. Get rid of the existing pub and commercial kitchen facilities.
  3. Create 44 pod rooms (through 14x HMO* Cluster Units) with small combined kitchens and living room (basically, these are bedsits!).
  4. Create a gym and communal work space facilities for the sole use of the occupiers. 
  5. Provide a small ‘tap room’ with no commercial kitchen; an area suggested to be used for a ‘boutique cinema’ said to accommodate 20 people; and a small seating / meeting area. 

(*Houses of Multiple Occupancy – basically, bedsits!) 

The Save Redfield Cinema Campaign group has an alternative proposal that saves the cinema, contributes to the local economy and serves the community.

We believe that East Bristol deserves better. 

If you do too, please submit an objection via the Bristol City Council’s Planning Portal website.

How to object to the current planning application?

We recommend you consider and explain in your own words:

  • The loss of a historic building that shall never be brought back once gone. 
  • The loss of vital social space and local access to leisure and cultural activity. 
  • The negative impact on the local night time economy of Church Road.
  • The impact that the intensive accommodation will have on neighbours (parking, noise, anti-social behaviour, wellbeing etc).
  • The style and quality of accommodation for those expected to live there.
  • The proposal states it will not trigger a requirement for Affordable Housing. 
  • The visual impact of the development on the local area. 
  • What is proposed for use of the commercial space is not large enough for any operator to take on and for it to be financially viable (see below).
  • The planning application is not in keeping with Bristol Council’s Core Strategy and current plans to improve Church Road’s facilities as a priority high street (see below). 


A little more detail…..

The application is not in keeping with Bristol City Council’s Local Plan Review and High Streets Recovery initiative 

“This policy aims to support a network of accessible centres in Bristol as key focuses for development and as the principal locations for shopping and community facilities as well as local entertainment, art and cultural facilities.  All the centres are essential to the vitality of the city, the diversity of its shopping provision and to social inclusion, helping to reduce car dependency by providing services close to homes”.

Bristol City Council’s Local Plan Review (we also recommend you read this document further if you wish to find more detail to support your objection)

Church Road has been identified by Bristol City Council as a priority high street. 

From September to November 2021, Bristol City Council engaged with businesses and residents to understand what improvements are needed on Bristol’s priority high streets and to gather ideas on the type of events and activities people would like to see. The Church Road engagement feedback reports; “There is also a lot of interest in more events and activities especially in the evenings, including an increasing lobby to restore the former cinema in St George’s Hall (former Wetherspoons)” 

To lose this space seems short sighted and counterintuitive. If Landrose is permitted to change the use it will effectively wipe out the best premises suitable for leisure and entertainment purposes. Once this space has been removed, it can never be taken back again and will stop the continuing evolution of Church Road. 

The proposed plan for commercial space is unviable and will not provide adequate social or economic benefits to the local area

Whilst Landrose states the commercial area ‘could’ be used as a ‘boutique cinema’, ‘tap room’ and ‘bar seating / community meeting’ space there is absolutely nothing whatsoever which obliges them to do so. 

With the bar area and kitchen space used by Wetherspoons removed, the proposed ‘tap room’ is little more than a small bar, not large enough to sustain a commercially viable drinking establishment, with no commercial kitchen. All of the other pubs in the locality serve hot evening meals to remain commercially viable. There is inadequate storage and servicing space. This space would effectively be no bigger than a takeaway shop. The ‘bar seating/community meeting’ space is too small for any meaningful activity to take place.