CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after plans to convert an historic building into a multi-screen cinema and shops were shelved.

Entertainment company Vue wrote to the Save Our Hippodrome group confirming plans to convert the Grade II* listed building in Middle Street were not being pursued by the landlord.

In a letter to the group Kevin Styles, Vue’s managing director in the UK and Ireland, said: “We would like to confirm the new landlord is not proceeding with the redevelopment and therefore Vue will not be putting a cinema in the Brighton Hippodrome.”

Hundreds of people supported rallies organised by the campaign.

They objected to the planning application approved by Brighton and Hove City Council which would have seen developer Alaska Group, in partnership with Vue, build a cinema and restaurant complex.

Thousands of people signed a petition against the move. The group believes the building would serve the city better as a theatre.

Group spokesman Paul Zenon said it was a small short-term victory but wants to know what other plans could be in store for the site instead.

He said: “We are extremely pleased with this news. This means the planning application cannot go ahead as it stands. But the company employed 24-hour security on the site over Christmas so we are not sure what is going on at the moment. We are viewing this as a temporary reprieve.”

The news was revealed as the group filmed a campaign video outside the Brighton Hippodrome yesterday afternoon.

More than 100 people, including members of the Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties, backed the recording, speaking about the campaign’s mission and the historical importance of the building.

Conservative parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion Clarence Mitchell welcomed the news. He said: “This is a big step in the right direction. The onus is now on the council to work with the campaign.”

Jeremy Gale, Liberal Democrat central Hove council candidate, said: “The hard work has paid off as Vue will not be proceeding with their planning application.

"It’s testament to the strength of support the Save Our Hippodrome campaign has garnered over the last few months. The campaign has had our unequivocal support for some time.”

No one from the site’s developer the Alaska Group or Vue was available for comment yesterday.