THE team behind plans for a drive-in cinema in Colchester say they will appeal after council planners rejected the bid.

Nightflix wanted permission to use the former Sainsbury’s site in Stanway for its movie events.

The firm held a successful Winter Food and Film Wonderland event with a 60ft by 40ft giant screen back in December and a Valentine’s event.

It had applied to Colchester Council to allow it to use the site for two years but planners have rejected the bid.

In its decision the council said the proposal is “fundamentally car dependant” and “promotes unsustainable travel behaviour”.

It said encouraging the use of cars would contribute to the increase in emissions and have a detriment to air quality.

It added: “Staff and customers on site are likely to be exposed to air pollution at levels that would have an adverse impact on health, even following only short term exposure.”

The bid was also rejected on the grounds the screen would cause distraction to motorists and “poses a danger to highway users.”

Nightflix said it takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. Spokeswoman Daisy Lees said: “The drive-in cinema opportunity is one of the few sociable but not crowded events people can attend in the next few months while we manage the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Nightflix is well aware of the connections between climate change and coronavirus.

“We know we need clean air, clean rivers and seas and strong plant-life to survive, and that we can all take responsibility for the planet, this responsibility should certainly be led by the corporate sector.

“As much as drive in cinemas does encourage non-essential use of cars we must also remember that people need out-of-home events and enjoyable special occasions to share with their loved ones, this contributes to our quality of life and general wellbeing.”

Team leader Connor Short added: “Pop-up cinema is not a huge money-spinner but it’s a good use of empty land and as a company we’ve created and secured jobs for people.”

Nightflix is asking people to contact them and let them know if they have seen the screen from the road and if it is a distraction. Email