PLANS to turn Colchester iconic former Odeon cinema into apartments are set to be decided “in the next few months” - more than a year on from when plans were first revealed.

In May 2020, owner Blumarble Property unveiled fresh proposals for the Crouch Street premises, which would see the 55 apartments, two retail units and a basement car park created.

As part of the plans, the famous building would be demolished entirely, with a replica of the historic foyer section reconstructed and a new apartment block added.

Blumarble’s previous £10 million plans to convert the building into apartments stalled due to financial viability issues and it said demolishing the whole building and adding a fifth level of flats would get the scheme back on track.

The demolition plan proved controversial, with the likes of Historic England and the Theatres’ Trust calling for it to be rejected.

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More than a year on and no decision has yet been made on the proposals for the building, which has been empty since the cinema chain relocated to Head Street nearly 20 years ago in 2002.

Colchester Council said there had been a delay so alternative options could be explored, however, a report would now be published “in the next couple of months”.

A spokesman said: “We were asked to delay making a recommendation so that the applicant could consider potential alternatives.

“We have since been advised by the agent they would now wish a decision to be made based on the original application submission.

“Once we have received clarification on several points, we will look to publish a report in the next couple of months.”

Matt Ellis, of Blumarble, said the firm remained committed to redeveloping the derelict site, which has become one of the longest running planning sagas in Colchester.

Businesses have called for action to be taken on the eyesore which is blighting Crouch Street.

Derelict - the old Odeon has been empty since the cinema relocated back in 2002

Derelict - the old Odeon has been empty since the cinema relocated back in 2002

Mr Ellis added; “There is nothing to update at the moment the application is still with the council.

“We are still keen to do something with it.”