Developers have warned that failure to get the North Westgate development off the ground could mean a multi-million pound loss for the city.
The firm behind the £100 million cinema-led development says that once completed the project could net Peterborough City Council £1.5 million over six year through the New Homes Bonus plus £1.6 million a year in business rates.
The alarm has been sounded by Peter Breach, chairman of Hawksworth Securities, the firm behind the development plans.
It comes five days before the council’s planning committee is due to consider both the North Westgate scheme and the rival cinema-led £30 million development for the neighbouring Queensgate shopping centre.
Officers are recommending approval for both proposals.
Mr Breach said: “By enabling the rest of the development with its retail offer, office space and new homes, a cinema in North Westgate will help create over 1,500 new, long-term jobs and offers substantial revenues to the council through business rates, Council Tax and New Homes Bonus.
“The New Homes Bonus alone could bring in £1.5 million to the Council over six years.
“Overall we believe our proposals could bring in another £1.6 million in business rates annually.
“The views from three major cinema operators, as well as independent research, confirm our fears that the city centre cannot support two cinemas.
“If a cinema is also approved at Queensgate, it is likely to go ahead before North Westgate, given its more limited scope.
“If that happens the cinema operators interested in North Westgate will pull out and the regeneration of North Westgate will not happen for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Breach added: “It is very important we recognise the many benefits the regeneration of North Westgate will bring to the city as a whole and for local communities.”