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Government rejects bid to list former bingo hall

Published : 06/11/2019

The council has responded to the Government’s decision to reject an application to list a former bingo hall, clearing the way for the delivery of a multi-million pound scheme that promises to revitalise the town centre.

The Vicarage Lane project is a proposed mixed use development, delivering quality homes, cultural and performance space, food and drink outlets and workspace to complement the market town’s history and heritage.

Our proposals include the part demolition of the rear of the former bingo hall in the Lower High Street to reveal an uninterrupted view to the iconic Grade I listed St Mary’s Church, while retaining the high street frontage of the building to create a multi-use indoor event space seating around 120 people.

Historic England (HE) considered a request by the Cinema Theatre Association to have the building listed and carried out a full assessment before sending its recommendations to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The Secretary of State has now agreed with the HE’s recommendation not to add it to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest because it fails to meet the relevant criteria.

Council Chief Executive Tracey Kerly said: “We’re pleased a decision has been made and we can now move forward with this project. We believe this scheme can help rejuvenate the town centre, enhance our cultural offer, create significant employment opportunities and help attract inward investment for the benefit of local communities.

“We are currently assembling a specialist design team to help us deliver this innovative development and we are on course to have this team in place by the end of the year.”

Visit our dedicated web page for more information on the proposals for the former Mecca Bingo site.