Developer submits plans to transform land next to cinema

McCarthy Stone has submitted a planning application to Birmingham City Council to develop land next to the Empire Cinema, off Holland Road in Sutton Coldfield.

The site has previously been used as a pay and display car park. Empire Cinema is selling the car park for redevelopment to raise the funds needed to refurbish and re-open the venue.

McCarthy Stone’s proposals will transform the vacant site into retirement living accommodation. The plans would deliver a mix of 43 one-and-two-bedroom apartments, available for private sale as well as part rent and part buy.

Matt Wills, divisional managing director at McCarthy Stone, said: “We are pleased with the response to our proposals, with the majority of respondents to our consultation outlining support for the plans. Feedback has shown that many in the local community deem this vacant site as in need of redevelopment, whilst others have remarked on how future residents of this proposal will support local businesses and rejuvenate the high street.

“We’re confident that there is a local need for retirement accommodation in Sutton Coldfield and that this proposal will help to release existing family homes onto the market, relieving the pressure of local Green Belt release.”

Justin Ribbons, CEO of Empire Cinema, said: “We are pleased to see McCarthy Stone submit their planning application for specialist retirement accommodation on land adjacent to the cinema.

“We have worked closely with McCarthy Stone on the plans and see this as an important step towards securing the long-term future of the cinema.

“We note that concerns have been expressed about the operation of the cinema without parking, but we already operate other cinemas in similar conditions. With suitable upgrades, we remain confident in the viability of the Empire Cinema in Sutton Coldfield.

“We have been delighted to see how passionate the local community is about the future of Empire Cinema in Sutton Coldfield and believe McCarthy Stone’s proposals will support us to re-open our doors to local film lovers.”