Proposal for flats at former cinema

Kettering, Russell St, old Savoy theatre/bingo/ Ohio cinema 'Fire at disused cinema- firefighters attend the scene'Friday, 16 September 2011
Kettering, Russell St, old Savoy theatre/bingo/ Ohio cinema 'Fire at disused cinema- firefighters attend the scene'Friday, 16 September 2011

Plans have been submitted to turn a derelict cinema into affordable flats.

The old Savoy Cinema in Russell Street, Kettering, has been an eyesore for many years but could now be demolished and replaced by 23 one-bedroom flats.

Residents are likely to welcome plans to get rid of the eyesore building after arsonists set fire to it last week.

Norman Reynolds, 64, has lived in the town for 39 years and bought the site in January.

He said: “I have applied to Kettering Council for permission to build 23 affordable one-bedroom flats on the site.

“I’m trying to keep them as cheap as possible to attract first-time buyers.

“I hope planning permission will be granted, I can’t see why it wouldn’t be.

“I’d like to start building next spring.”

People told the Evening Telegraph they wanted the site to be torn down after arsonists set fire to it in the early hours of Friday morning.

Fleur Pollock, who lives in the street, said: “Anything would be better than what is there at the moment.

“It’s not being used for anything and if you walk up the street it’s all you see – it’s horrible.

“The flats that have been built at the top of the road are alright and make the street look a bit better.”

Mr Reynolds, of Headlands, said: “It is not a nice-looking building at the moment.

“I did think about converting the building but I think it would be better to just floor it and start again to make it look nicer.

“I have read about residents not being happy with the site and I don’t blame them. I hope they will back the scheme.”