Wellington's former Clifton cinema to be demolished under latest plans

Wellington's disused Clifton Cinema will be demolished but an attached former shop building could stay to house local businesses, if plans are approved.

The Clifton Cinema in Wellington
The Clifton Cinema in Wellington

Telford Investments Ltd had its permission to demolish both the Clifton Cinema and the former Saverite premises next door confirmed by Telford & Wrekin Council in July.

But the Oakengates-based company has applied to subdivide the ground-floor section on the corner of Bridge Road and Grooms Alley, Wellington.

A planning statement says the seven planned units could provide “opportunities for new starter businesses at reasonable prices”.

This former shop building could reopen as seven smaller units aimed at local retailers

If permission is refused, it adds, demolishing both buildings is the “fallback position”. Wellington Town Council will be consulted and Telford & Wrekin Council will make its decision at a later date.

The Clifton Cinema opened in the 1930s and showed its last film in 1987.

The one-storey section – clad in green corrugated steel and grey brick – later housed the main retail space for Saverite and Dunelm branches.

Car park

The planning statement, prepared by planning agent Elizabeth Atwood on behalf of Telford Investments secretary Chris Evans, says: “Following the demolition of the former cinema building, it is proposed to retain, re-clad and refurbish the single-storey retail unit and divide it internally into seven units.

“The site of the former cinema building will be utilised as a car park with 58 spaces plus six disabled spaces.

“These small, sustainably-located units will provide a potential opportunity for new local business, particularly in light of the ongoing changes to employment due to Covid-19.

“This proposal seeks to provide some opportunities for new starter business at reasonable price and should be considered to be part of a viable regeneration of Wellington as a market town.”

Ms Attwood adds that “demolition of both buildings is the ‘fallback’ position if the demolition of the former Clifton but the retention of the former Saverite is not supported.”

She writes: “The former Clifton cinema is in a poor state of repair and, whilst its loss is regrettable, it has no statutory protection.”

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