Campaigners say there is ‘some hope’ for Woolwich Grand Theatre after a planning board deferred a decision to demolish it last night (April 1).

Greenwich Council planning officers had recommended approval of plans to demolish the Wellington Street building and replace it with a five-storey block of flats and new commercial space.

But a surprise move to defer the decision on the Art Deco former cinema building, which dates from the 1930s, came over concerns about the new design.

Campaigners hope to get the building listed as an Asset of Community Value, with a petition currently standing at more than 800 signatures, before the venue’s fate is next in front of the planning board.

There have been cross-party objections to the plans with ward councillor Coun John Fahy, Tory deputy leader Councillor Nigel Fletcher, and Lib Dem Stewart Christie all speaking out.

Coun Fletcher said: “It’s been given a stay of execution which is hopeful.

“Speaking to campaigners, the hope now is they can get it listed as an Asset of Community Value and give it some protection.

“Hopefully the council could give the area the heritage protection itself.

“It is very promising having cross-party support so there is some hope.”

He went on to say the site is part of the Bath Way Quarter which should be designated to culture under the Woolwich Masterplan.

Coun Fletcher added: “They say it should be a cultural and heritage area, it just seems perverse the first thing they do is to demolish a heritage building.

“If it is going to be replaced, it needs to be replaced with something of high quality.”