A church’s appeal against Waltham Forest Council's decision to reject its bid to turn the former EMD cinema into a centre of worship has failed.

The government today dismissed the United Church for the Kingdom of God’s (UCKG) bid to overturn the council's decision about the site in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, which the UCKG had hopes to turn into a church-cinema hybrid, five months after a public inquiry into the issue.

The government’s planning inspectorate rejected the church’s appeal because Walthamstow is in “sore need” of regeneration, which it believes would be better provided by the site becoming an entertainment venue once again.

The announcement comes after the government department for communities wrote to the church and Waltham Forest Cinema Trust to announce their decision was indefinitely delayed just two days ago.

Case officer Hannah Beck said: "I am writing to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances we are unable to issue a decision today."

She provided no date as to when the decision would be issued, but now the appeal has been rejected, the trust hopes to begin implementing plans to turn the site into a cinema and live performance venue.

Trust members believe the council may now carry out a compulsory purchase order after the UCKG’s latest failure to gain permission for its plans, meaning it would have no choice but to sell the site.

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