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Certificate of Immunity: Application #2

With the deadline for the construction to commence rapidly approaching, Hammerson once again filed for Certificate of Immunity.

It could be that Hammerson was unable to commence construction on the planning permission granted to them due to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic in 2020, however some individuals familiar with the process had already questioned Hammerson’s intentions, and instead suspected that it was simply a tool to facilitate the sale of The Point.

Regardless of the motivation, Historic England agreed that the Certificate of Immunity be granted. In a highly suspect move, Historic England chose to approach The Twentieth Century Society to provide the rebuttal of Hammerson’s application, despite being aware of The Cinema Theatre Association’s extensive work campaigning for the building previously.

In their response to the FOI request submitted, Historic England stated simply:

We are aware that there is strong local opinion over The Point and future development of the site. We have considered the claims of the building very carefully, but we have not been able to recommend statutory listing.

Historic England
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Certificate of Immunity: Application #1

Hot on the heels of applications to Historic England for The Point to be granted listed status, owner Hammerson hit back and filed for a Certificate of Immunity. The certificate would provide a legal guarantee that The Point would not be considered for designation as a building of special architectural or historic interest (listed status).

Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) writing on behalf of Hammerson believed that The Point was “of its time” and went on to say:

“The building is not an important example of cinema architecture … The architectural quality of the ziggurat is not outstanding.”

NLP, 22 Jul 2013

Sadly Historic England agreed, and duly granted the requested Certificate of Immunity.

These documents were made available by Historic England (HE) via a Freedom of Information request submitted on 28th September 2020. Other attempts at listed status are also available for download.

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