Our planning objections

Since Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) took ownership of the cinema in 2003 they have had 3 planning applications rejected both by Waltham Forest Council, and later on Appeal by the government.

Below are our main reasons for opposing UCKG’s applications to convert the building into either a church, or a church/cinema hybrid:


These are the main ways in which we believe a restored cinema is crucial to the regeneration of the area.

  • It is a landmark building.
  • Once restored it would have the potential to attract audiences both within and beyond the borough.
  • If used as a UCKG church. the building would effectively be removed from the public domain.
  • A church would result in a relatively small number of people using the building frequently. A cinema would result in a much greater number of people using the building, albeit less frequently.
  • The secondary spend of cinema goers would stimulate the evening economy and help local businesses.
  • A cinema can reach out to all sectors of the population. A well rounded programme could include screenings for children, daytime concessions for seniors and low income groups, and programming for the borough’s many ethnic groups as well as showing mainstream movies.
  • It can offer more than a multiplex. Very few existing cinemas have the potential to hold live music and events as well. The EMD/Granada building was built with full stage facilities for multi-purpose use.


  • All 3 UCKG planning applications have been rejected unanimously by Waltham Forest Council and on Appeal by the national government. The main reasons given for rejection remain valid.
  • There is widespread support by the local community in retaining the building for cinema/live entertainment use.
  • Planning guidelines recommend that a listed building’s original use should be the first option wherever possible.

Financial viability

  • The building would need some investment to bring out its full potential, and there is a common counter argument that no commercial operator would be able or willing to make that kind of investment. The Locum report of August 2010 recommended the establishment of a Trust that could attract grant funding and lease the premises to commercial operators.
  • The Waltham Forest Cinema Trust was therefore established in 2011 with the full support of the local council and has detailed business plans demonstrating its financial viability.


One Response to Our planning objections

  1. Holly says:

    All this needs is a nice clean up and keep it a cinema this will help with all the local businesses and the new developments recently being built in this area. Why would you make it a church there is enough churches around this area already it doesn’t make sense plus there will be less people using this development and what a waste that will be. People of today need more to occupy themselves with as there is nothing fun in this area otherwise.

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