Majestic Cinema CEO Kieran Dell says a nine-screen cinema and entertainment complex adjacent to Kmart would split council's goal of an entertainment precinct centred on the CBD.
United Cinemas, a Sydney-based cinema chain who currently operate cinemas exclusively in capital cities and their surrounding areas, has submitted a DA to council.
It includes a nine screen, 1400 seat capacity cinema complex, bowling alley, gym, indoor sports centre, car wash, fast food and restaurants.
Submissions to the DA close on Friday, February 15.
The DA will go to the Regional Planning Panel for determination due to the estimated cost of the proposed development.
Mr Dell says council has a policy that, essentially says, the Westport and Settlement City precincts should not have an effect on the CBD.
"Majestic Cinemas sits smack in the middle of the entertainment precinct of the CBD," he said.
"The Glasshouse is the pinnacle of council's desire to create this entertainment area.
"We have a cohesive town centre that flows quite nicely; I think council has an obligation to ensure we keep the essence of this place."
We have a cohesive town centre that flows quite nicely; I think council has an obligation to ensure we keep the essence of this place.Kieran Dell
Mr Dell said petitions circulating around the city had so far logged around 3,000 signatures with more expected prior to Friday's deadline.
"That is in just under 10 days and does not include submissions made directly to council.
"Most of the comments objecting to the new cinema plans revolve around loss of views, access, increased traffic congestion and parking complications, as well as concerns about noise impacts and the visual amenity so close to the foreshore.
"There are also concerns about whether this is an appropriate development and scale to sit on this particular block of land," he added.
While accepting there were negative comments about the Majestic Cinema complex - mainly due to its age - Mr Dell said the cost of a higher quality cinema experience was not cost-effective for the population in the local government area.
"And we are not against competition either. We already compete with many forms of entertainment," he added.
Mr Dell said he would be lodging a submission covering issues including planning, appropriateness of the size and siting of the complex, the effect on local business, the effect on CBD businesses specifically and the splitting of the entertainment precinct.
"You take 250,000 people out of the Port Macquarie CBD and it will have an impact," Mr Dell said.
"Relocating the entertainment precinct out of the CBD will have a detrimental effect on foot traffic in and around the businesses here.
"We will also be calling on council to undertake an economic and social impact assessment which will help go through many of our issues."
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