Developer seeks alterations to cinema extension plans for Peterborough's Queensgate shopping centre

Developers behind a multi million pound cinema-led extension to Peterborough's Queensgate shopping centre are seeking approval to change the plans.

Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 9:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th March 2018, 2:34 pm
This image shows how the Queensgate cinema should appear once completed.
This image shows how the Queensgate cinema should appear once completed.

The owners of the 36-year-old shopping centre want approval from Peterborough City Council for a number of changes to the proposed £30 million development that was given the green light in 2016.

The alterations are regarded as minor changes that will only need approval of planning officers rather than councillors.

However, the new application does throw more light on the timescale for the construction of the 77,000 sq ft extension that will see the creation of a restaurant and leisure hub as well as a multiplex cinema with an expected 11 screens.

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An application document submitted by agents Lichfields states the changes relate both to the John Lewis store, which is releasing its under-used storage space for the extension, and to the height and length of the proposed cinema roof.

It also requires the installation of additional toilets at third floor level for cinema toilets.

In addition, it states the centre's owner Invesco Real Estate is looking to carry out the works in two phases.

The first phase will involve the alterations at John Lewis and will take place in 2018/19.

It is intended the second phase, the construction of the leisure extension, will not begin until 2020.

It adds: "In light of tenant specifications and a greater understanding of construction requirements, a two phase construction is now proposed."

The Queensgate cinema plans were at the centre of an unsuccessful legal challenge in 2016 by Hawksworth Securities,would-be developers of the neighbouring North Westgate site.

Hawksworth chairman Peter Breach had claimed the council's approval for the Queensgate cinema scheme effectively scuppered his cinema-led regeneration plans for North Westgate.

And last year Invesco said it had run into problems with Odeon, which had been named as its cinema operator in 2015, and had begun discussions with two other operators.

In November last year, Guy Thomas, head of retail at Lendlease, which operates the centre on behalf of owners Invesco, said a cinema was still a central part of its plans.

He added: "We are finalising discussions with a major cinema operator.”

He said construction of the extension to Queensgate would start this year but refused to give an exact date.