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Source : 24/11/1999 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

The Jesus Army should have been given planning permission to convert the Cannon Cinema into a hall for worship, a Liberal Democrat has claimed.

The religious group was last month refused the planning application after five Labour members voted against the advice of the officers to approve it in principle.

Councillor Marion Allen said she thought the plans to convert the listed building on Abington Square should have been given the green light.

The Liberal Democrat member for Headlands told a full meeting of the council: 'There really doesn't seem to be any planning reasons for turning it down.'

Labour members rejected the idea because of the congestion of buses dropping off and picking up people would cause.

Councillor Allen said: 'The building was previously used as a cinema. There were always people coming and going there's a great big car park at the back for people to use.'

A planning appeal has been lodged by the Jesus Army and is due to be heard next month.

Councillor Ulric Gravesands, member for Delapre, defended his Labour colleagues who voted against the plans.

He said: 'The whole area surrounding the cinema has changed. That makes it impossible for buses to stop there.'