The public was able to view plans to restore The Regal and tour the former cinema

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Artist impression: View of the The Regal and the office block from Highams Park Station Artist impression: View of the The Regal and the office block from Highams Park Station

Plans to covert a cinema building into office space have been revealed to the public.

Total Security Services (TSS) bought The Regal in Hale End Road, Highams Park, and the neighbouring former Shelz restaurant last year with the intention of creating a new headquarters for its 4,000 staff nationwide.

An initial application for the site was submitted in November and withdrawn soon after.

Now, after months of negotiations with conservationists and Waltham Forest Council planners, TSS and Loughton-based Clear Architects presented new designs yesterday in the foyer of the former cinema.

TSS plan to demolish the former restaurant and erect a new five-storey office space, including a basement, as well as restore the original facade of The Regal.

Access to both buildings will be created through a glass panelled wall, while the existing frontage of The Regal will be used as the main entrance to the firm's headquarters.

The main office space building will be set back half a metre from The Regal to ensure the former cinema remains the focal point of the main road.

TSS managing director, Ricky Gardezi, was on site to discuss the plans with the public.

He said: "This appealed to me because of my heritage with the site. I remember walking past The Regal when I was a young boy and saying to my father 'one day I would like to own that building'.

"The proposal will guarantee jobs and employment opportunities and I feel this design is more in-keeping than the previous design."

Mr Gardezi also said the public event seemed like the "right thing to do" given the "overwhelming public interest".

More than 100 people took a tour of the former cinema, with the majority offering positive feedback.

Derek Hamilton, 51, of Larkshall Road, said: “regenerating the area is what needs to happen and will show businesses there is life outside of the city."

Treasurer of the Highams Park Society, Andrew Golds, also welcomed the plans.

He said: "Nice to see plans to bring it back to its former glory. It will be better than it is now.

"I am very happy with the prospects to re-instate The Regal and not see it demolished. It is an iconic feature of Highams Park"

John Richard Playle, a Beech Hall Road resident of 70 years and former cinema visitor, described the potential restoration as a "new era" and said he would "love to see people walking in an out of The Regal". 

However, Christopher Gill, of Beech Hall Road, expressed concern abut the plans.

"TSS is attempting to turn the street into an office block.

"The proposals for the main office at Shelz will overshadow our gardens.

"It is nonsense at a time when there is this great push for the revival of our high street to see Hale End Road being transformed into a business development," said Mr Gill. 

As part of the planning application, TSS has negotiated 40 parking spaces for employees and visitors at the Tesco site in Larkshall Road.

Councillor Paul Braham of Hale End and Highams Park said he was "pleased" with the plans but called on Mr Gardezi to "ensure TSS employees and visitors use the parking space reserved for them in Tesco and stop parking in the side streets."

TSS plans to submit the application to Waltham Forest Council in the next six weeks.

If the application is rejected, Mr Gardezi has said he will put The Regal back on the market and move his 25 year-old business out of Highams Park.

Comments (19)

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12:00pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

They are hardly reviving it. They are changing the use of it completely.
They are hardly reviving it. They are changing the use of it completely. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 5

12:44pm Thu 17 Apr 14

sd1969 says...

So they have secured 40 parking spaces for their 4,000 employees? I guess the rest will use the adjoining roads as well as the commuters who use them to park for the station.

That being said, it's great to see some the Regal and Shelz finally being revitalised.
So they have secured 40 parking spaces for their 4,000 employees? I guess the rest will use the adjoining roads as well as the commuters who use them to park for the station. That being said, it's great to see some the Regal and Shelz finally being revitalised. sd1969
  • Score: 5

1:08pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Sam Hain says...

Now showing: 'They Came From Outer Space'
Now showing: 'They Came From Outer Space' Sam Hain
  • Score: -2

1:11pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Sam Hain says...

Or: 'The Invasion of the Building Snatchers'?
Or: 'The Invasion of the Building Snatchers'? Sam Hain
  • Score: -2

2:10pm Thu 17 Apr 14

mdj says...

It's an HQ for 4000, not an office for 4000.
If they get the detail right, this is just what our job-deprived suburbs need.

Thjnk of the money that can be spent locally that won't be wasted on season tickets, and the time not wasted in traffic queues!
With the direct link to the City, clusters of small back-offices could transform the economic outlook of the Borough.

Interestingly, a previous article said that our planning officers were inclined against it.
After years of stagnation, the Arcade site, the prime site in the Borough, is finally being built - with no high-density employment facilities such as this, but dominated by low-wage retail, and housing association flats.

Does our council really have an agenda of keeping the area down?
It's an HQ for 4000, not an office for 4000. If they get the detail right, this is just what our job-deprived suburbs need. Thjnk of the money that can be spent locally that won't be wasted on season tickets, and the time not wasted in traffic queues! With the direct link to the City, clusters of small back-offices could transform the economic outlook of the Borough. Interestingly, a previous article said that our planning officers were inclined against it. After years of stagnation, the Arcade site, the prime site in the Borough, is finally being built - with no high-density employment facilities such as this, but dominated by low-wage retail, and housing association flats. Does our council really have an agenda of keeping the area down? mdj
  • Score: 2

4:44pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Debbie2312 says...

This is hardly restoration, it's being converted in to offices as I understand it so out of the public domain and certainly lost to the community
This is hardly restoration, it's being converted in to offices as I understand it so out of the public domain and certainly lost to the community Debbie2312
  • Score: 5

5:04pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

Sam Hain wrote:
Or: 'The Invasion of the Building Snatchers'?
Carry on Up The Khybers Path
[quote][p][bold]Sam Hain[/bold] wrote: Or: 'The Invasion of the Building Snatchers'?[/p][/quote]Carry on Up The Khybers Path Villagecranberry
  • Score: -8

7:07pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Sam Hain says...

mdj wrote:
It's an HQ for 4000, not an office for 4000.
If they get the detail right, this is just what our job-deprived suburbs need.

Thjnk of the money that can be spent locally that won't be wasted on season tickets, and the time not wasted in traffic queues!
With the direct link to the City, clusters of small back-offices could transform the economic outlook of the Borough.

Interestingly, a previous article said that our planning officers were inclined against it.
After years of stagnation, the Arcade site, the prime site in the Borough, is finally being built - with no high-density employment facilities such as this, but dominated by low-wage retail, and housing association flats.

Does our council really have an agenda of keeping the area down?
I agree with you wholeheartedly, MDJ, about our job-deprived suburbs and the need to cut down commuting to work, but unless the jobs in this scheme go to existing local residents in the immediate vicinity, where, precisiely, are up to 4000 homes to be found? And if workers commute inwards in numbers, as I suspect will be the case, the implications for car usage and parking in narrow residential streets, and overcrowding on already groaning public transport in that area (basically the Abellio Network Rail line and buses) are potentially horrendous.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: It's an HQ for 4000, not an office for 4000. If they get the detail right, this is just what our job-deprived suburbs need. Thjnk of the money that can be spent locally that won't be wasted on season tickets, and the time not wasted in traffic queues! With the direct link to the City, clusters of small back-offices could transform the economic outlook of the Borough. Interestingly, a previous article said that our planning officers were inclined against it. After years of stagnation, the Arcade site, the prime site in the Borough, is finally being built - with no high-density employment facilities such as this, but dominated by low-wage retail, and housing association flats. Does our council really have an agenda of keeping the area down?[/p][/quote]I agree with you wholeheartedly, MDJ, about our job-deprived suburbs and the need to cut down commuting to work, but unless the jobs in this scheme go to existing local residents in the immediate vicinity, where, precisiely, are up to 4000 homes to be found? And if workers commute inwards in numbers, as I suspect will be the case, the implications for car usage and parking in narrow residential streets, and overcrowding on already groaning public transport in that area (basically the Abellio Network Rail line and buses) are potentially horrendous. Sam Hain
  • Score: 4

9:46pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Sam Hain says...

Sam Hain wrote:
mdj wrote:
It's an HQ for 4000, not an office for 4000.
If they get the detail right, this is just what our job-deprived suburbs need.

Thjnk of the money that can be spent locally that won't be wasted on season tickets, and the time not wasted in traffic queues!
With the direct link to the City, clusters of small back-offices could transform the economic outlook of the Borough.

Interestingly, a previous article said that our planning officers were inclined against it.
After years of stagnation, the Arcade site, the prime site in the Borough, is finally being built - with no high-density employment facilities such as this, but dominated by low-wage retail, and housing association flats.

Does our council really have an agenda of keeping the area down?
I agree with you wholeheartedly, MDJ, about our job-deprived suburbs and the need to cut down commuting to work, but unless the jobs in this scheme go to existing local residents in the immediate vicinity, where, precisiely, are up to 4000 homes to be found? And if workers commute inwards in numbers, as I suspect will be the case, the implications for car usage and parking in narrow residential streets, and overcrowding on already groaning public transport in that area (basically the Abellio Network Rail line and buses) are potentially horrendous.
Apologies, MDJ, I was getting over-excited! On re-reading the article I see what you're driving at. This isn't a development for 4000 workers - that really would have been a mega-development - but an HQ for a firm employing 4000 nationally.
[quote][p][bold]Sam Hain[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: It's an HQ for 4000, not an office for 4000. If they get the detail right, this is just what our job-deprived suburbs need. Thjnk of the money that can be spent locally that won't be wasted on season tickets, and the time not wasted in traffic queues! With the direct link to the City, clusters of small back-offices could transform the economic outlook of the Borough. Interestingly, a previous article said that our planning officers were inclined against it. After years of stagnation, the Arcade site, the prime site in the Borough, is finally being built - with no high-density employment facilities such as this, but dominated by low-wage retail, and housing association flats. Does our council really have an agenda of keeping the area down?[/p][/quote]I agree with you wholeheartedly, MDJ, about our job-deprived suburbs and the need to cut down commuting to work, but unless the jobs in this scheme go to existing local residents in the immediate vicinity, where, precisiely, are up to 4000 homes to be found? And if workers commute inwards in numbers, as I suspect will be the case, the implications for car usage and parking in narrow residential streets, and overcrowding on already groaning public transport in that area (basically the Abellio Network Rail line and buses) are potentially horrendous.[/p][/quote]Apologies, MDJ, I was getting over-excited! On re-reading the article I see what you're driving at. This isn't a development for 4000 workers - that really would have been a mega-development - but an HQ for a firm employing 4000 nationally. Sam Hain
  • Score: 4

10:36pm Thu 17 Apr 14

mdj says...

'where, precisely, are up to 4000 homes to be found?'
Thanks for the correction, Sam.

There must be many people living in Highams Park who would appreciate the option of a job that didn't entail commuting, rather than schlepping off to the City, Ilford, or wherever.
Obviously, there will always be a huge amount of shuffling between boroughs as people pursue their own objectives; but for years this borough has been the greatest exporter of people to earn their daily bread, one of the symptoms of local economic stagnation.
The more that job opportunities are equalised across London, the less the stress on railways, roads, and peoples' lives.

It defies belief that our planners were making negative noises about this opportunity.
I wonder if they had any input into the decision that closed and sold off council offices in Chingford that provided many local jobs, in favour of renting at great expense an office much harder to reach for Chingford people, owned by Lea Valley Estates?
'where, precisely, are up to 4000 homes to be found?' Thanks for the correction, Sam. There must be many people living in Highams Park who would appreciate the option of a job that didn't entail commuting, rather than schlepping off to the City, Ilford, or wherever. Obviously, there will always be a huge amount of shuffling between boroughs as people pursue their own objectives; but for years this borough has been the greatest exporter of people to earn their daily bread, one of the symptoms of local economic stagnation. The more that job opportunities are equalised across London, the less the stress on railways, roads, and peoples' lives. It defies belief that our planners were making negative noises about this opportunity. I wonder if they had any input into the decision that closed and sold off council offices in Chingford that provided many local jobs, in favour of renting at great expense an office much harder to reach for Chingford people, owned by Lea Valley Estates? mdj
  • Score: 4

11:53pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Jenny highams park says...

Great, new jobs, but there are other ways. This development would be too big for the high street. Parking would be horrendous for the residents of the nearby roads and in the mornings with additional commuters Handsworth primary and highams park secondary and the railway lines it would be even worse than it currently is. This isn't a large town, we are loosing what makes highams park, small &quaint. And the owner 'threatening' to leave highams park if he doesn't get his own way, who does he think he is, go then. As for the ridiculous flags off the top of the building, really naff!!!! I can't understand why the highams park society is supporting this!
Great, new jobs, but there are other ways. This development would be too big for the high street. Parking would be horrendous for the residents of the nearby roads and in the mornings with additional commuters Handsworth primary and highams park secondary and the railway lines it would be even worse than it currently is. This isn't a large town, we are loosing what makes highams park, small &quaint. And the owner 'threatening' to leave highams park if he doesn't get his own way, who does he think he is, go then. As for the ridiculous flags off the top of the building, really naff!!!! I can't understand why the highams park society is supporting this! Jenny highams park
  • Score: 1

7:27am Fri 18 Apr 14

Thomas Hardy says...

Given that the TSS office is already in Highams Park - just opposite Tesco, and would be moving, I can't imagine much net impact on jobs, parking or any of the other issues. Shame The Regal is out of the picture for any community/ artistic use, but if the alternative to this scheme is it continuing to crumble, surrounded by ugly temporary fences, I think this is a good and sensitive scheme.
Given that the TSS office is already in Highams Park - just opposite Tesco, and would be moving, I can't imagine much net impact on jobs, parking or any of the other issues. Shame The Regal is out of the picture for any community/ artistic use, but if the alternative to this scheme is it continuing to crumble, surrounded by ugly temporary fences, I think this is a good and sensitive scheme. Thomas Hardy
  • Score: 1

10:56am Fri 18 Apr 14

Jenny highams park says...

Yes they have offices in highams park already but they are a large company, 4000 staff and would be closing several other offices and moving the head office here so obviously that will have a huge impact on the local area, parking will be dreadful and it will just be yet another reason for the council to try to bring in residents paying for permits yet again!
Yes they have offices in highams park already but they are a large company, 4000 staff and would be closing several other offices and moving the head office here so obviously that will have a huge impact on the local area, parking will be dreadful and it will just be yet another reason for the council to try to bring in residents paying for permits yet again! Jenny highams park
  • Score: 2

12:41pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Thomas Hardy says...

Jenny highams park wrote:
Yes they have offices in highams park already but they are a large company, 4000 staff and would be closing several other offices and moving the head office here so obviously that will have a huge impact on the local area, parking will be dreadful and it will just be yet another reason for the council to try to bring in residents paying for permits yet again!
Their highams park office is head office already according to their website. Fi. Have they said they are closing their regional offices which (again according to their website) are key to the service they provide?the 4000 employees are mostly security officers working in various sites, I don't get impression they are planning to bring vast numbers of staff who don't work in head office already? But I may be wrong of course....
[quote][p][bold]Jenny highams park[/bold] wrote: Yes they have offices in highams park already but they are a large company, 4000 staff and would be closing several other offices and moving the head office here so obviously that will have a huge impact on the local area, parking will be dreadful and it will just be yet another reason for the council to try to bring in residents paying for permits yet again![/p][/quote]Their highams park office is head office already according to their website. Fi. Have they said they are closing their regional offices which (again according to their website) are key to the service they provide?the 4000 employees are mostly security officers working in various sites, I don't get impression they are planning to bring vast numbers of staff who don't work in head office already? But I may be wrong of course.... Thomas Hardy
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Fri 18 Apr 14

ruby newbie says...

my opinion is it will only be good for the locals if the people working here do not have to drive and park their cars in an already crowded area,but it is good news
my opinion is it will only be good for the locals if the people working here do not have to drive and park their cars in an already crowded area,but it is good news ruby newbie
  • Score: -1

12:59am Sat 19 Apr 14

Jenny highams park says...

This is already a problem with parking. Already when they have one of their open recruitment days and have streams of people queuing down the road from their office, past the post office and the cycle shop as far as Silverdale and every time you can guarantee our road will be blocked. I've had the council tow cars from over my drive, this isn't an area for large offices, if you want that move to Enfield where the large roads support the numerous office blocks with their own car parks! We are a small village community, we already have the tesco development and all the buisness space and jobs avalible there. Highams park will be unrecognisable for the beautiful quaint qualities and unmovable for cars.
This is already a problem with parking. Already when they have one of their open recruitment days and have streams of people queuing down the road from their office, past the post office and the cycle shop as far as Silverdale and every time you can guarantee our road will be blocked. I've had the council tow cars from over my drive, this isn't an area for large offices, if you want that move to Enfield where the large roads support the numerous office blocks with their own car parks! We are a small village community, we already have the tesco development and all the buisness space and jobs avalible there. Highams park will be unrecognisable for the beautiful quaint qualities and unmovable for cars. Jenny highams park
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Sat 19 Apr 14

gutterball says...

Will the snooker club still be there? I find it hard to believe that TSS will use the whole building. The building is huge but only parts of it have been used over the past 20 odd years. The snooker club uses the ground floor at the rear that has a low ceiling, The foyer at the front is very small and the old nightclub at the top was on the 3rd floor and only used the old balcony with the rest blocked off. The whole auditorium with the screen section hasn't been seen for years. I know this because I used to work there.
Will the snooker club still be there? I find it hard to believe that TSS will use the whole building. The building is huge but only parts of it have been used over the past 20 odd years. The snooker club uses the ground floor at the rear that has a low ceiling, The foyer at the front is very small and the old nightclub at the top was on the 3rd floor and only used the old balcony with the rest blocked off. The whole auditorium with the screen section hasn't been seen for years. I know this because I used to work there. gutterball
  • Score: 1

6:26pm Sun 20 Apr 14

GavinQ says...

Misleading headline/link on this page...its a shame it isn't being revived as a 1930s cinema...
Misleading headline/link on this page...its a shame it isn't being revived as a 1930s cinema... GavinQ
  • Score: 3

9:38pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Gray Chingford says...

The snooker club will not be touch as they are a siting ternate
The plans which were on display on the open day
Show they are not touching the auditorium and just using the main front entrance with a side access into the new building to the left of the cinema
The snooker club will not be touch as they are a siting ternate The plans which were on display on the open day Show they are not touching the auditorium and just using the main front entrance with a side access into the new building to the left of the cinema Gray Chingford
  • Score: 0

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