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Redhill cinema scheme approved

Words: Laura Edgar

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s planning committee has approved a £40 million multiplex cinema, restaurants and shops in Redhill town centre, Surrey.

The redevelopment will include a six-screen cinema and up to 11 glass-fronted shops and family-style restaurants on the ground and first floors. There will also be 153 studio, one and two bedroom flats for private rent in the buildings, that will range from five to 13 storeys.

The scheme features basement car parking and access, cycle storage and public realm.

Marketfield Way surface car park and a number of other retail and commercial building fronting Redhill High Street will be redeveloped to provide the mixed-use scheme.

According to the planning officer’s report, the site is recognised as the “main focal point for economic and cultural provision” within the council’s 2014 core strategy due to its “good” transport connections.

It also features in the Redhill Town Centre Area Action Plan Consultation Draft 2012.

The decision to approve the development was made in line with the planning officer’s recommendation.

The core strategy notes that the development should provide 30 per cent affordable housing. However, an open book viability appraisal was submitted with the application suggesting that developer profit would be just 11.5 per cent.

This is “far below” what is expected to provide a “reasonable developer return”, the planning officer’s report states.

When scrutinised by independent development viability experts appointed by the council, further value was extracted, raising the profit to 14.8 per cent, but this has been deemed short of the usual developer appraisal that would be expected.

A developer profit deemed appropriate for this development is 15 per cent, the report states.

The report concludes that: “The development viability has therefore been fully explored and it is concluded that it would not offer sufficient profit to enable the requirement of affordable housing in this case.”

However, to ensure that a contribution towards affordable housing is “clawed back” if the development viability proves better than expected, a clawback agreement has been negotiated.

This will see 50 per cent of any profit over and above a 15 per cent profit on cost threshold made as a affordable housing contribution.

As the council is the applicant, this is a condition, rather than a section 106 agreement.

Natalie Bramhall, the council’s executive member for property, said: “The redevelopment will provide a huge boost to our regeneration ambitions and the local economy by creating hundreds of new jobs and increasing spend in the town.

“The next step now is for the architects to complete the detailed specifications for the scheme and for us to tender the building contract.”

Construction is currently planned to start later in 2017 and be complete in 2019.

The scheme was designed by architects PRP and will be delivered by Coplan Estates.

The officer’s planning report can be found here (pdf).

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