Former Clifton Cineman in Wellington could be demolished

A former cinema which has been empty for eight years will be knocked down next spring, if approval is given.

The former Clifton Cinema, Bridge Road, Wellington
The former Clifton Cinema, Bridge Road, Wellington

The Clifton Cinema, in Wellington, screened its last movie in the 1980s and was later re-purposed as a shop before closing in 2012.

Telford Investments Ltd has notified Telford & Wrekin Council of its intention to demolish the Bridge Road site, and expects the work to take place between March and June 2021.

The footpath on Grooms Alley, along the single-storey section at the north end of the building, will be closed to pedestrians for a part of the demolition, according to a statement from the company.

Application documents submitted by Telford Investments secretary Chris Evans say: “The site, which lies within Wellington Town Centre, has been vacant since spring 2012 since Dunelm vacated and relocated to a modern unit on Telford Forge Retail Park.

“The Clifton was last used as a cinema in 1987. The retail floorspace is now derelict, underutilised and forms a poor gateway to the town.

“Despite active marketing by a leading commercial agent, no realistic interest has been generated. This is due to the poor state of the building and significant rates of £100,000 per annum.

“The site will be cleared, levelled and secured and will be advertised as a brownfield redevelopment site.”

A “statement of demolition method”, prepared by Wellington-based Garvey Demolition Ltd, says the single-storey section, will be demolished first, followed by the taller cinema building. In both cases, they will be cleared from the back towards Bridge Road.

Two excavators, hand tools and dust control equipment will be used to carry out the work on weekdays between 7.30am and 4.30pm, it adds.

The property, including the now disused Dunelm shop, was going to be largely demolished under plans announced by MCO Marylebone at the end of 2017.

It was going to be turned into 52 apartments and retail space, although the familiar art deco frontage was going to be retained.

But within 18 months of the plans being announced, the building was back on the market.

Campaigners from the Clifton Community Arts Centre group worked to reopen it, but went on to open their own Orbit Centre in Station Road.

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