New Daventry cinema and Reach for Health premises given planning approval

The new cinema and Reach for Health buildings were given planning permission this week
The new cinema and Reach for Health buildings were given planning permission this week

A new £12.3million cinema in the town centre and a £1.5million purpose built home for Reach for Health have both been given planning permission this week by Daventry councillors.

The planning committee of Daventry District Council gave the green light to both schemes on Wednesday evening (February 20), while full council approved the business plans for both projects the following evening. Both are being funded by the council itself.

An artist's impression of how the new cinema complex at Mulberry Place will look

An artist's impression of how the new cinema complex at Mulberry Place will look

The approved Mulberry Place plans permit the construction a new four-screen cinema, an adjacent restaurant building and a new civic square off North Street. The site is currently home to Daventry Library, which will be relocated to new premises at the Abbey Resource Centre in St John’s Square.

In December it was reported that problems with the groundworks meant that the cost of the project rose from £8.2million to £12.3million, while costs in relocating the library have also spiralled from £700,000 to £1.5million.

Meanwhile Reach for Health can now look forward to moving out of its small premises in the Marches Industrial Estate to a custom built building in the grounds of the Daventry & District Sports Trust site at Western Avenue

It will allow the group to continue its services and facilities for persons with a wide range of medical conditions which require physical or mental rehabilitation.

The new Reach for Health building is being fully funded by the council

The new Reach for Health building is being fully funded by the council

The application includes an extensive area of new parking to complement the existing parking facilities.

Reach for Health has agreed it will have to pay £12,800 a year in rent, but the district council will be footing the £1.5million bill for the building, with councillors voting to do so in December despite officer advice warning them it could lead to the council ending up in ‘a borrowing position’.

Labour councillor Wendy Randall proposed a motion at last night’s full council meeting that the rent be frozen for the first five years.

But leader Chris Millar says the rent deal was fully agreed with Reach for Health, and that it was ‘a very favourable deal’ for them. The motion was eventually voted down.

Rob Juson, the chair of trustees at Reach for Health, has said the new building will be ‘a huge step that allows us to move to another level’.