A FORMER cinema owner has reiterated calls for the regeneration of an Oswestry site to include a picture house.

Trevor Harris, who ran the Regal Cinema in the town centre for decades, says a cinema should be built when the former Smithfield Livestock Market site is redeveloped.

It comes as supermarket giant Morrisons seeks planning permission to build on the site.

The national chain was part of the multi-million leisure proposal for the site which failed to come to fruition after Cineworld pulled out out of the deal in 2016.

Planning permission for the complex was on condition of the cinema being built first.

Mr Harris said: “I would point out once again that there had to be a cinema built first before anything else could be done on this site.

“They have very craftily omitted this on this new application, although they would blame Cineworld for pulling out.

“So what should they do? I will tell you. They should go and find another company to do the cinema. There should be no store on this site until we have a cinema, full stop.

“I doubt very much if Morrisons are capable of finding anyone but there are always people looking for sites. I have been in contact with the town council as well.”

Mr Harris also hit out at Shropshire Council after they refused grant funding for his project to create a new small cinema in King Street in Oswestry’s town centre.

He continued: “When we try to do something for the town you lot refuse to give us grants along with the town council.

“You have a good chance here of doing something for the town by making them supply a full-time cinema but as usual you won’t make them do it.

“Anything north of Shrewsbury you don’t want to know while you have down there the Old Market Hall and the theatre; here we have exactly nowt.”

The Morrisons application includes a bakery, butcher’s, fishmonger’s and florist’s, cafe, dry cleaning and key-cutting services, plus a petrol station and car wash.

It is expected to create 60 full and part-time jobs.

A spokesman from Shropshire Council said: “This application will be considered on its merits, taking into account the appropriate local and national planning policies, comments raised as part of the statutory consultation and other material considerations.”

The deadline for Shropshire Council to make a decision on the proposal lapses on Monday [DEL OCT 15].