Plans for a new multi-screen cinema as part of a major business and leisure development on the outskirts of Lynn have been dropped.
Administrators handling the affairs of Morston Assets are still pursuing development of the Morston Point site on the Hardwick industrial estate, which will be debated by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee on Monday.
But, even if it approves the latest outline proposals, the scale of the development means its final fate will be determined by a government minister.
Morston Assets, which went into administration last December, first put forward its idea of a business and leisure park in June last year.
The scheme, which it claimed could create up to 700 new jobs, included proposals for a multi-screen cinema, a discount supermarket, shops, restaurants, a family pub, gym, hotel, car showroom and up to 20 other business units.
But, despite the removal of the cinema and gym, North Runcton parish council, within whose boundaries the site falls, is opposed to the plan.
It said: “The proposal will diminish the potential for the area to generate local employment.
“Although the cinema has been removed, the parish council believes that the proposal will still have an adverse effect on King’s Lynn town centre.
“The proposal will be wholly dependent on the private car and will create congestion.”
But planning officer David Parkin said: “The application will not significantly adversely affect the vitality of either King’s Lynn Town Centre or Gaywood District Centre.”
But, even though he has recommended the committee approves the scheme, it would still have to be referred to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), as it would provide more than 5,000 square metres of new retail space on an out of town site.
The cinema plan had provoked opposition from the Lynn Civic Society over the potential impact on the Majestic in the town centre, which had put forward its own expansion plan for three new screens.
However, Mr Parkin’s report reveals that plan, which had been given planning permission, has now lapsed.
The paper also quotes the operators of the Majestic, C&R Cinemas Ltd, who claimed the original Morston Point plan had led to an “inevitable delay” to its proposals.
It added: “This has always posed a threat to both us and the town centre as any growth and development within the town has been strangled whilst awaiting news of ‘out of town’ development.”