Former Zoots nightclub and Pilot Cinema to be demolished as homes plan gets go ahead

The former Pilot Cinema building in King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The former Pilot Cinema building in King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Planning permission has been granted for a housing scheme which will see 25 homes built on the site of a former cinema and nightclub.

The 1930s art-deco building, off John Kennedy Road in King's Lynn, once known as the Pilot Cinema and Zoots Nightclub, will be demolished as part of the development.

The site has been unused since Zoots closed its doors in 2005 just nine years after it opened following a £2m refurbishment.

The development will be carried out for housing association Freebridge Community Housing and all of the dwellings will be affordable housing.

Tony Hall, chief executive of Freebridge, said: 'We are really very pleased to be granted planning permission.

'We feel it's a very strong development in terms of what we wanted it to do, which is to make a place that people want to live.

'I think it will be an opportunity for making the most of the site.

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'Now we are looking forward to getting started and cracking on with it.'

Mr Hall added that Freebridge had taken on board the comments of councillors at a West Norfolk Council planning meeting when a previous scheme for the site was rejected.

The previous proposal for 28 homes had been refused by the council as they felt this was a case of overdevelopment and that it would lack car parking space.

Speaking before the councillors made their decision, Lesley Bambridge, councillor for St Margaret's with St Nicholas, gave her support to the plans.

She said: 'Some people may raise concerns about loss of employment land but the site has been unused for around five years now.

'It helps 25 families who will benefit from affordable housing.'

In the meeting, borough councillor Zipha Christopher said: 'This is a much better scheme than the last one and I have to congratulate Freebridge on really taking our comments to heart.'

The plans include a mixture of seven semi-detached houses as well as 18 flats.

Car parking will be provided for every dwelling and a crossroad junction will be put in place between John Kennedy Road, North Street and the site.

The proposal was unanimously approved by the planning committee.