Whiteladies Picture House development appeal rejected

Whiteladies cinema
Image caption The cinema on Whiteladies Road closed in 2001

Developers who wanted to turn a derelict cinema into a gym and flats have had their appeal against refusal of planning permission rejected.

Medinbrand had proposed turning the Grade II-listed Whiteladies Picture House in Bristol into six flats and the auditorium into a gym.

The planning inspector ruled against the firm and refused its application for costs after an inquiry in January.

The cinema has been vacant since it closed in 2001.

Situated on Whiteladies Road, the former picture house is within a conservation area and has been on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register since 2003.

Planning inspector Richard McCoy said in his judgement: "The proposed two-storey extension, as new development within the conservation area, would have a discordant appearance that would fail to enhance or better reveal the significance of the heritage asset and would detract from local character and distinctiveness."

The inspector also listened to other interested parties including the campaign group Keep Cinema Local which wants to see it reopened as a cinema or a community facility.

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