Cinema finally sold and demolished after a long-running dispute

A major stumbling block to Derbyshire Council’s plan to seize, demolish and replace an abandoned cinema has been cleared. At a meeting today (May 24), Erewash Borough Council officials announced that landowners opposing the compulsory purchase of the former Galaxy Row Cinema in Derby Road, Long Eaton had withdrawn their opposition.

This means there will be no need to hold a formal and costly public inquiry into the matter, but will instead be dealt with amicably in the coming weeks – rather than potentially months followed by a decision by a planning inspector. The council says it can now move forward in the hope that the massively overrun timeline for the project can be significantly reduced.

The next step is to select a company that will carry out the replacement of the former cinema with a range of flats, houses and shops – unless they wish to submit their own planning application – and possibly the demolition of the cinema. Erewash MP Maggie Throup, Long Eaton Town Deal Board chairman Richard Ledger and deputy leader Cllr James Dawson all backed a plan to place a large advertising poster or image on the billboards that will conceal the site once it is demolished .

This could be an image of the approved designs for the site. Tom Haddock, head of property at the council, said the authority formally took ownership of the former cinema on Monday (May 20) and building inspections took place yesterday (May 23), which revealed a number of issues that need to be addressed.

This also applies to broken windows on the upper floors, which although not an “imminent hazard”, must be secured to “make it a safe asset” until demolition. Mr Haddock said the “self-confirmation” of the compulsory purchase of the former cinema and adjacent buildings would take place in the coming weeks, without a figure given for the compulsory sale price.

There is currently no idea how long the project delay can be shortened until a contractor is appointed and if that company decides to amend the council’s approved planning application. As it stands, the project is due to be completed by May 2027, more than a year after the money for the scheme – given to the council by the government – ​​is due to be spent, with no indication yet of any extension agreements .

This is all down to the £25 million the council received in 2021 through the Town Deal fund, with all money due to be spent by March 2026. As well as the Galaxy Row Cinema scheme, the council is also behind schedule on a number of other schemes, with the High Street upgrade project also due to be completed outside the funding deadline – in July 2026.

Ms Throup said this is the plan that “concerns me the most”, accounting for 40 per cent of the total £10 million Town Deal. She asked to start this project earlier or divide it into phases so that it would be delivered on time.

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