About three years ago I lead the successful campaign to get the front facade of the former Picture Palace Cinema in Ness Road locally listed. In fairness, the developer was true to his word and pledged to incorporate the front of the building into any future development.
Last month, work started on the building to develop a block of eight flats. For a period of two weeks with seeming little activity on the site I started to fear the worst. Last week, I received a call from the architects and my fears were confirmed.
During the discussion I was informed that regrettably, whilst demolishing the rest of the building, a small tree and plant life were found to be growing in the brickwork making the front facade structurally unsafe resulting in the structure having to be demolished. As planning permission was originally granted with the requirement to keep the front facade, planning permission has to be sought for a new frontage to the development. During the discussion the architects have pledged to rebuild the frontage to an identical state.
Whilst the original frontage couldn't be saved at least the memories of a unique style of a past era will still live on. It is anticipated that the development will be completed by the end of the year.