A proposal to turn Newmarket’s former Doric Cinema and De Niro’s nightclub into 46 flats has been rejected by town councillors.
The town centre landmark is currently owned by property developer, the Murfet Group, which has submitted plans to convert it to residential use. But members of the council’s planning committee objected on the grounds that there was not enough parking and it was ‘excessive development’ of the site not in keeping with the character of the building or the conservation area.
‘If this venue does not become available...other options must be considered’
However two town residents, David Rippington and David Goodman are still hopeful the premises can be developed for community use including a multi-use cinema and have prepared their own report detailing their proposals which also include a soft-play area for children.
But Mr Rippington, who is a member of the town’s local history society, said he fully accepted that their ideas may not come to fruition.
“If this venue does not become available, then other locations must be considered,” he said, “and the scope of entertainment options to be offered can then be tailored to suit them.“
Members of the Newmarket Vision Group were consulted over the residents’ proposal but felt there was little they could do because the building had already been bought by a developer.
When he was re-elected last month, Newmarket MP Matthew Hancock pledged he would bring a cinema to Newmarket within the next five years.