Plans to turn a former cinema into flats have been given the go-ahead despite pleas to use the site for the public.

Ealing Council’s planning committee approved the application to demolish and redevelop Sudbury House in Sudbury Heights Avenue, Greenford , to provide a part three, part four-storey building with 39 flats at a meeting on Wednesday (September 3).

The privately-owned building was Sudbury Town Odeon from 1935 to 1956, and became the Starlite Ballroom in 1964 where bands such as The Who and Pink Floyd played.

It has also been used as a bingo and snooker hall and a nursery, although it has been empty for the past two years.

Applicant Jeff Field said: “The final design will be a successful development offering smaller households as well as ones for families.

“The site location is accessible and it has local services nearby. So long as the design is acceptable the density should be secondary.

“There’s no planning basis to refuse the demolition of the building, it re-uses the land and provides much needed accommodation.”

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Frank Kilduff, chairman of North Greenford Residents’ Association, objected to the redevelopments.

He said: “It may seem nice to tidy things up and provide more housing but we are de-heartening the spirit of the community. The area is lacking in community facilities.

“The vision shared by campaigners is instead of a blind, faceless block of flats there could be regeneration to inspire people of all ages. There are now 115 signatures on the petition.

People at the demonstration last Saturday (August 30) said they were fed up with the area being blighted.

He said he hoped the committee would recognise the opportunity to promote the heritage of the area.

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A council officer said: “It’s not recognised in this particular area that there’s a need for community use.”

She added the application was first received in 2011 and has been revised until the design now fits in with the parade.

Councillor Steve Hynes, who chaired Wednesday’s meeting, suggested a condition was set to name the building after the Starlite.

Bob Little, UKIP community officer, said naming the building after the club was no good. He said: “We do not want to remember it, we want to rejuvenate it.”