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Bid to add 200 extra seats in Walsall cinema complex expansion plan backed

A bid to expand a cinema development in Walsall to include more than 200 extra seats are set to be backed by council bosses.


Kier Property, which is behind plans for the complex at Walsall Waterfront, wants to alter the layout to increase the seating from 1,039 to 1,245.

The new plans which include minor alterations to two restaurant units have been lodged with Walsall Council after discussions with the cinema operator.

The Light cinema will form the centrepiece of the £12 million development for the town centre and Pizza Express, Chiquito, Hungry Horse and Bella Italia have also signed up to take unit space.

The cinema will have at least eight screens and work will be getting well under way in the coming months ahead of an expected opening next summer. Around 230 jobs are expected to be created in the first phase of the scheme.

The plans have been recommended for approval by Walsall Council's planning committee when it meets tomorrow.

A report to councillors from head of planning David Elsworthy says: "The site is not within a sensitive area and the site is not statutorily protected and is a previously developed brownfield site.

"The potential impact of the development, taking account of extra ma seats, elevational changes to the cinema, changes to condition triggers and minor amendments to units five and six on the surrounding site is not significant in this instance."

The only concern raised in relation to the proposal is by an un-named objector who has called for further highway investigation from the highways department into numbers travelling to the site.

It comes as there are also plans for a second cinema in the town centre. The Vue complex forms part of a separate project being put forward by developers Cordwell.

Restaurant space and a number of units are also earmarked for The Littleton Centre, on land near to Tesco. It is also due to create more than 200 jobs.

It has been 20 years since Walsall town centre has had a cinema after the ABC closed in Park Street back in 1993.

The schemes fit in with the long-term £400m Gigaport scheme which aims to create a business and office corridor through the heart of the borough.

Walsall Council regeneration chief Mohammad Nazir said: "There are lots of great developments going on in Walsall at the moment and I am pleased to see them moving forward."

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