EMD cinema appeal result 'due in May'

First published in Waltham Forest
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

The result of an appeal against the rejection of plans for the former EMD cinema in Walthamstow will not now be announced until May, it is claimed.

The Universal Church for the Kingdom of God (UCKG) launched the appeal after its proposals for a church-cinema hybrid at the Hoe Street site were rejected by Waltham Forest councillors in September.

The group bought the listed building in 2002 but has repeatedly failed to get planning permission to convert it into a place of worship.

A public inquiry was held by the government's planning inspectorate as part of the appeal in December and his verdict was expected to be announced in March.

But the McGuffin Film Society, which has been campaigning against the UCKG's plans, says it has now been told the date has been put off until May.

The society's Bill Hodgson said: “It is frustrating that a final decision still remains several months away.

“But this is the culmination of a long and complex planning process and we would much rather that ministers made a detailed examination of the case and thoroughly assess the vast amount of evidence which has been gathered before reaching their verdict”.

The UCKG's appeal was also against the council's similar rejection of an earlier application from the group to turn the site into a place of worship but without a cinema.

The UCKG says there is a clear need for its church and facilities in the borough, and says it will be of great benefit to the local community.

But Waltham Forest Council and campaigners say alternative plans to reopen the site as an entertainment venue would help regenerate the area.

During the appeal both sides rowed about the viability of each other's plans.

Comments (16)

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10:18am Tue 12 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

This is great news.

understandleable though the delay as there has been a great deal of paperwork to go though and it must be hard to distinguish the waffle, bluster and so on from the relevant information, with photos of Darleks and Super-Hero Dressed Child protesters assisting the Demonstrations that have been the feature in recent years.

It would be good to see this sorry tale come to an end now the Duplex-Multi-complex Cinema is being built 50 yards away, so that the Church and the Public can exist in harmony.

There are plenty of other places that can be made into a private drinking house for an unrepresentative group to sho films such as Aliens from the Planet Zobs and Carry on Don't Forget Your Troosers.

I urge the Planning Inspector to use Objective Judgement in reaching his decision in allowing the Church to co-exist with the Complex-Multi-plex Cinemas so various films can be shown to suit people from all Races, religions and Creeds and also those in The Trust of Granada, including Neil 62% Business rate Increase Gerrard.

I ask, where have the Baldrics and Mick Jagger and the Unfunny Comedian with bush of curly hairs gone?
This is great news. understandleable though the delay as there has been a great deal of paperwork to go though and it must be hard to distinguish the waffle, bluster and so on from the relevant information, with photos of Darleks and Super-Hero Dressed Child protesters assisting the Demonstrations that have been the feature in recent years. It would be good to see this sorry tale come to an end now the Duplex-Multi-complex Cinema is being built 50 yards away, so that the Church and the Public can exist in harmony. There are plenty of other places that can be made into a private drinking house for an unrepresentative group to sho films such as Aliens from the Planet Zobs and Carry on Don't Forget Your Troosers. I urge the Planning Inspector to use Objective Judgement in reaching his decision in allowing the Church to co-exist with the Complex-Multi-plex Cinemas so various films can be shown to suit people from all Races, religions and Creeds and also those in The Trust of Granada, including Neil 62% Business rate Increase Gerrard. I ask, where have the Baldrics and Mick Jagger and the Unfunny Comedian with bush of curly hairs gone? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

11:02am Tue 12 Feb 13

TTMAN says...

Corny there is a job vacancy for you over in Rome.
Corny there is a job vacancy for you over in Rome. TTMAN
  • Score: 0

11:09am Tue 12 Feb 13

bonnebo says...

I strongly disagree with Cornbeefur. In my opinion the majority of Walthamstow residents would benefit more from an entertaining venue than a church. Catford’s history just illustrates that there is no such thing as harmony between the Church and the rest of the public.
I strongly disagree with Cornbeefur. In my opinion the majority of Walthamstow residents would benefit more from an entertaining venue than a church. Catford’s history just illustrates that there is no such thing as harmony between the Church and the rest of the public. bonnebo
  • Score: 0

11:31am Tue 12 Feb 13

mrhobbs says...

I too disagree with Cornbeefur. The rhetoric has come from the UCKG, some of it extremely illogical. As a resident of Walthamstow I know there are plenty of churches in the area, but not a single cinema (excluding the pop ups obviously).

This is of course before we even start to consider the heritage aspect of the building. It was built to be a cinema and it should remain a cinema. The commercial plan has been proven to be viable, even with the multiplex and I can't wait for the EMD to be screening films again. Am counting the days!
I too disagree with Cornbeefur. The rhetoric has come from the UCKG, some of it extremely illogical. As a resident of Walthamstow I know there are plenty of churches in the area, but not a single cinema (excluding the pop ups obviously). This is of course before we even start to consider the heritage aspect of the building. It was built to be a cinema and it should remain a cinema. The commercial plan has been proven to be viable, even with the multiplex and I can't wait for the EMD to be screening films again. Am counting the days! mrhobbs
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Sam Hain says...

bonnebo wrote:
I strongly disagree with Cornbeefur. In my opinion the majority of Walthamstow residents would benefit more from an entertaining venue than a church. Catford’s history just illustrates that there is no such thing as harmony between the Church and the rest of the public.
Strongly disagreeing with our resident troll has become my default mode, bonnebo. And, after all this time, he still hasn't learned how to spell Dalek!
[quote][p][bold]bonnebo[/bold] wrote: I strongly disagree with Cornbeefur. In my opinion the majority of Walthamstow residents would benefit more from an entertaining venue than a church. Catford’s history just illustrates that there is no such thing as harmony between the Church and the rest of the public.[/p][/quote]Strongly disagreeing with our resident troll has become my default mode, bonnebo. And, after all this time, he still hasn't learned how to spell Dalek! Sam Hain
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Walthamster says...

A government-level public inquiry found against the UCKG nearly 10 years ago. The UCKG hasn't offered anything substantially better than it was offering then. So why has there been another inquiry anyway?

The one thing that grows stronger over the years is the case against the UCKG. Just look at the other areas where it has used its massive funds to buy big buildings like the Catford cinema and the glorious old Rainbow theatre in Finsbury Park. Anyone seen any improvements?

And it has been flouting the law on listed buildings by neglecting the EMD.

All further evidence that the UCKG is bad for any areas it moves into.
A government-level public inquiry found against the UCKG nearly 10 years ago. The UCKG hasn't offered anything substantially better than it was offering then. So why has there been another inquiry anyway? The one thing that grows stronger over the years is the case against the UCKG. Just look at the other areas where it has used its massive funds to buy big buildings like the Catford cinema and the glorious old Rainbow theatre in Finsbury Park. Anyone seen any improvements? And it has been flouting the law on listed buildings by neglecting the EMD. All further evidence that the UCKG is bad for any areas it moves into. Walthamster
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Tue 12 Feb 13

rodddy says...

UKCG please go away. I don't know anyone in Walthamstow who wants your cult-like church here.

Let Soho Theatre and Curzon get the cinema up and running. Walthamstow needs regeneration and a night-time economy. The church doesn't provide that.
UKCG please go away. I don't know anyone in Walthamstow who wants your cult-like church here. Let Soho Theatre and Curzon get the cinema up and running. Walthamstow needs regeneration and a night-time economy. The church doesn't provide that. rodddy
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

rodddy wrote:
UKCG please go away. I don't know anyone in Walthamstow who wants your cult-like church here.

Let Soho Theatre and Curzon get the cinema up and running. Walthamstow needs regeneration and a night-time economy. The church doesn't provide that.
Actually whilst I would have liked to have seen it reopen as a cinema I think the project is now dead in the water as the complex-multiplex big screen with jumbo bag pop corn is on its way and this needs to be resolved by the time the Holiday Makers arrive at the new Hilton or whatever company it is opens up the road.

Lack of monies has meant like the stow the stable door has been closing after the horses have bolted to the Tesco.
[quote][p][bold]rodddy[/bold] wrote: UKCG please go away. I don't know anyone in Walthamstow who wants your cult-like church here. Let Soho Theatre and Curzon get the cinema up and running. Walthamstow needs regeneration and a night-time economy. The church doesn't provide that.[/p][/quote]Actually whilst I would have liked to have seen it reopen as a cinema I think the project is now dead in the water as the complex-multiplex big screen with jumbo bag pop corn is on its way and this needs to be resolved by the time the Holiday Makers arrive at the new Hilton or whatever company it is opens up the road. Lack of monies has meant like the stow the stable door has been closing after the horses have bolted to the Tesco. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

11:08pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

'The society's Bill Hodgson said: “It is frustrating that a final decision still remains several months away'

My opinion is that this guy dragged his feet a bit too much at the outset and lost all credibility with the Council and anyone who would seriously back the campaign.

Instead of raising money, there were plastic Darleks, childrens parades and Computer generated wishful thinking images plastered all over the area, and Empty Promises from baldricks and so on. Maybe they can try Buxton road now?
'The society's Bill Hodgson said: “It is frustrating that a final decision still remains several months away' My opinion is that this guy dragged his feet a bit too much at the outset and lost all credibility with the Council and anyone who would seriously back the campaign. Instead of raising money, there were plastic Darleks, childrens parades and Computer generated wishful thinking images plastered all over the area, and Empty Promises from baldricks and so on. Maybe they can try Buxton road now? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

11:40pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Walthamster says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
'The society's Bill Hodgson said: “It is frustrating that a final decision still remains several months away'

My opinion is that this guy dragged his feet a bit too much at the outset and lost all credibility with the Council and anyone who would seriously back the campaign.

Instead of raising money, there were plastic Darleks, childrens parades and Computer generated wishful thinking images plastered all over the area, and Empty Promises from baldricks and so on. Maybe they can try Buxton road now?
Oh for god's sake you know nothing about this, you insult people at random. What have you ever done that's useful? What brilliant and of course successful campaign have you run?

I joined the McGuffins back at the beginning but eventually dropped out because I was involved in other campaigns. But I've always admired Bill and the rest of the McGuffins for keeping the cinema in the news so the UCKG couldn't quietly get their own way.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: 'The society's Bill Hodgson said: “It is frustrating that a final decision still remains several months away' My opinion is that this guy dragged his feet a bit too much at the outset and lost all credibility with the Council and anyone who would seriously back the campaign. Instead of raising money, there were plastic Darleks, childrens parades and Computer generated wishful thinking images plastered all over the area, and Empty Promises from baldricks and so on. Maybe they can try Buxton road now?[/p][/quote]Oh for god's sake you know nothing about this, you insult people at random. What have you ever done that's useful? What brilliant and of course successful campaign have you run? I joined the McGuffins back at the beginning but eventually dropped out because I was involved in other campaigns. But I've always admired Bill and the rest of the McGuffins for keeping the cinema in the news so the UCKG couldn't quietly get their own way. Walthamster
  • Score: 0

10:26am Wed 13 Feb 13

nicolasb says...

Cornbeefur, I think part of your confusion may stem from thinking that the McGuffin Film Society and Waltham Forest Cinema Trust are the same organisation. They aren't; not at all. Only one member of the Trust's board is in any way affiliated with the McGuffins. Other members include Neil Gerrard (former MP for Walthamstow), people associated with Soho Theatre, and also with Curzon Cinema.

Even a minimal amount of Googling will tell you that Soho Theatre and the Curzon Cinema chain are not amateurs who dress as daleks, they're serious, multi-million-pound entertainment business chains. As far as finance is concerned, they've already secured a £2,000,000 loan - yes, that's not a typo, two million pounds - hardly a small sum, and that's just for initial expenses and before even starting to seek funding from the National Lottery or Heritage organisations.

I actually agree with you that I would have preferred the old EMD cinema to be showing big commercial films rather than what will likely happen now, which is that it will specialise in independent release while the multiplex next door shows the Hollywood blockbusters; but a cinema that shows mostly independent films is not a "private film club", and there's no reason to suppose it won't be a commercial success, particularly when you factor in regular use of the 1000-seat main auditorium as a venue for concerts, comedy gigs, etc.
Cornbeefur, I think part of your confusion may stem from thinking that the McGuffin Film Society and Waltham Forest Cinema Trust are the same organisation. They aren't; not at all. Only one member of the Trust's board is in any way affiliated with the McGuffins. Other members include Neil Gerrard (former MP for Walthamstow), people associated with Soho Theatre, and also with Curzon Cinema. Even a minimal amount of Googling will tell you that Soho Theatre and the Curzon Cinema chain are not amateurs who dress as daleks, they're serious, multi-million-pound entertainment business chains. As far as finance is concerned, they've already secured a £2,000,000 loan - yes, that's not a typo, two million pounds - hardly a small sum, and that's just for initial expenses and before even starting to seek funding from the National Lottery or Heritage organisations. I actually agree with you that I would have preferred the old EMD cinema to be showing big commercial films rather than what will likely happen now, which is that it will specialise in independent release while the multiplex next door shows the Hollywood blockbusters; but a cinema that shows mostly independent films is not a "private film club", and there's no reason to suppose it won't be a commercial success, particularly when you factor in regular use of the 1000-seat main auditorium as a venue for concerts, comedy gigs, etc. nicolasb
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Hex, E11 says...

Please don't feed the troll.
Please don't feed the troll. Hex, E11
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Fri 15 Feb 13

demonmaster1977 says...

Why are people moaning about this if people carried on going to the cinema it wouldnt have been closed in the first place
Why are people moaning about this if people carried on going to the cinema it wouldnt have been closed in the first place demonmaster1977
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Debbie2312 says...

That is not strictly true. When the last owner bought the Cinema, a clause in the contract forbidded him to show any english films which is why people didn't go. I understand it got lifted prior to it being sold, but by that time the damage was done and many people didn't know. How is any bussiness to survive something like that?
That is not strictly true. When the last owner bought the Cinema, a clause in the contract forbidded him to show any english films which is why people didn't go. I understand it got lifted prior to it being sold, but by that time the damage was done and many people didn't know. How is any bussiness to survive something like that? Debbie2312
  • Score: 0

11:28am Mon 18 Feb 13

Walthamster says...

Debbie2312 wrote:
That is not strictly true. When the last owner bought the Cinema, a clause in the contract forbidded him to show any english films which is why people didn't go. I understand it got lifted prior to it being sold, but by that time the damage was done and many people didn't know. How is any bussiness to survive something like that?
Thanks for reminding people of this, Debbie. If I remember right, the wording was even more restrictive, that he could only show films in "languages of the Indian sub-continent". The Odeon chain was determined not to have any mainstream competition in Walthamstow, even though it wouldn't run a cinema here itself.

I remember one local campaigner supporting the EMD's right to show English-language films on the grounds that English IS one of India's and Pakistan's many languages! You can read their English-language newspapers online, eg
timesofindia.indiati
mes.com
and
http://dawn.com/
[quote][p][bold]Debbie2312[/bold] wrote: That is not strictly true. When the last owner bought the Cinema, a clause in the contract forbidded him to show any english films which is why people didn't go. I understand it got lifted prior to it being sold, but by that time the damage was done and many people didn't know. How is any bussiness to survive something like that?[/p][/quote]Thanks for reminding people of this, Debbie. If I remember right, the wording was even more restrictive, that he could only show films in "languages of the Indian sub-continent". The Odeon chain was determined not to have any mainstream competition in Walthamstow, even though it wouldn't run a cinema here itself. I remember one local campaigner supporting the EMD's right to show English-language films on the grounds that English IS one of India's and Pakistan's many languages! You can read their English-language newspapers online, eg timesofindia.indiati mes.com and http://dawn.com/ Walthamster
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Debbie2312 says...

Thanks for that extra info Walthamster. People looking at it from the outside, just see it in black and white, but with the EMD it really wasn't that simple. As far as I am aware there has never been any other Cinema that was given such restrictions upon the sale of it.
Thanks for that extra info Walthamster. People looking at it from the outside, just see it in black and white, but with the EMD it really wasn't that simple. As far as I am aware there has never been any other Cinema that was given such restrictions upon the sale of it. Debbie2312
  • Score: 0

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