COUNCILLORS who will decide whether or not a cinema complex can be built in Yate will visit the site this Friday, March 28.
South Gloucestershire Council’s sites inspection committee is to tour the land off Link Road, where proposals for a six-screen cinema, new restaurants and shops have gained huge public support.
Yate Town Council has been vocal about its backing of the planning application, put forward by owners of Yate Shopping Centre Crestbridge Corporate Trustees.
Cllr John Davis said: “This is something the town has been trying to get for a long time. We don’t have the final say but we hope the planners will find a way to make the cinema happen.”
Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb has led a 10-year campaign to get a cinema built in Yate and co-ordinated a petition signed by 1,100 residents calling for the £12million development to go ahead.
Mr Webb said: “We have done many surveys and young people always ask for a cinema so to play a part in delivering that is fantastic.”
In addition, 157 letters have been sent to the council by residents in support of the scheme, alongside 10 objections.
A Crestbridge spokesman said: "The application site is a very challenging location but we have worked closely with South Gloucestershire Council, Yate town councillors and all interested parties to ensure the issues are addressed to meet the planning requirements.
"Yate has been calling for a cinema for many years and we appreciate the depth of feeling among the public. Their support has been fantastic.
"With approximately 3,000 new homes scheduled to be built over the next few years, Yate needs to ensure it can offer first class leisure and shopping facilities. This development will take Yate Shopping Centre into the top league locally, allowing the town to compete with neighbouring facilities and save residents having to drive out of town for their entertainment."
Council planners have warned of increased traffic in the area but urged councillors to be award of the potential economic benefits the scheme would deliver.
The plans are due to be decided by the council’s development control (east) committee on Thursday, April 10 (3pm) at Kingswood Civic Centre. If approved, it is hoped will start on site late this year and completed in late 2015.