Important news! Make your voice heard – please take part in KICC’s survey
KICC’s proposals for ‘Change of Use’ of 25 Church Road to a D1 ‘Place of Worship/Conference’ venue with D2 add-on
Last week, Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) said they had delivered 17,000 leaflets to promote their proposals for ‘Change of Use’ of 25 Church Road, which they have renamed ‘The Open Door’. The leaflets presented ‘The Open Door’ as a community hub and included a survey which KICC invited recipients to complete. In addition, KICC also held an Open Day on Saturday 4 October. We know that many streets in SE19 and businesses in the Triangle did not receive any leaflets.
Both the Open Day and the survey are part of KICC’s pre-planning application consultation, which KICC will use to claim to Bromley’s planners that they have consulted and engaged with the community in arriving at their proposals prior to submitting a planning application for a change of use.
KICC have stated that subject to comments received from the community, ‘The Open Door’ will submit a ‘change of use’ application, (from its current planning use – D2 ‘Assembly and Leisure’ to include D1 ‘Place of Worship)’, to Bromley council later in the autumn.
If successful, they are aiming to start running their events programme in 2015.
The survey may be influential in the outcome of KICC’s planning application. Accordingly, we are urging local residents and traders to HAVE YOUR SAY and to take part in the survey, even though there are concerns about how the questions have been framed.
Or, you can fill it in online here http://www.theopendoor.org.uk/survey/ (apparently it can be submitted without selecting any answers you don’t agree with. There is also an opportunity to make comments).
Please help us to spread the word by forwarding THE SURVEY and our newsletter to other residents and businesses you feel may be interested in voicing their views.
THE CLOSING DATE IS THIS FRIDAY 10 OCTOBER 2014
Whilst KICC have indicated that copies of all responses will be made available to Bromley Council, if you have time we feel it would be beneficial to let Bromley’s planners have a copy of the survey directly from residents and suggest that a screen shot, a pdf, or even a simple cut and pasted copy of your comments is emailed to:
What residents have said already
Members of the campaign attended the Open Day and we have monitored feedback from local residents on social media, such as:
The clear message to date is that KICC’s proposals are either unclear or raise a number of very serious concerns as to the reality of what KICC describes as “a new community hub and multi-use facility’ if they are granted change of use.
We would also highlight that KICC are already using 25 Church Road as their church office and need the D1 planning use in order to deliver their charitable objects through activities such as Church services, religious orientated conferences, counselling services and religious focus groups, all of which generate revenue for the church. These activities cannot be held under the current lawful planning use which is D2.
Here is the ‘other’ website they are running for ‘The Open Door’: http://www.kicctheopendoor.org.uk/contact-us/
And, you can see the type of large scale events and activities which KICC run on their main website: http://www.kicc.org.uk/
Doors to 25 Church Road kept firmly shut to the local community since 2012
KICC have kept the doors of ‘The Open Door’ firmly closed to the local community for over 2 years since they held their own Opening Ceremony/Dedication Service and Religious Business Conference for their members back in August 2012. What has changed now other than the decision by Bromley council to take enforcement action unless KICC submit a new planning application?
We have summarised some of the points that residents have been making below and would invite you to read the summary or other comments on social media before completing the survey.
As always we would love to hear from you, local residents, so if you would like to share your response or thoughts on the survey with us you can do so by e-mailing us at:[email protected]
If we can we will publish (on an anonymous basis) a representative sample of comments we receive on our website: cinema4crystalpalace.org.uk
Thank you again for your support. We wouldn’t be here without you.
With best wishes,
Picture Palace Campaign
Feedback from KICC’s Open Day
Comments to date about KICC’s proposals and questions raised at the Open Day:
- The design has not changed since the last planning application in 2009;
- Internally, it looks a lot like KICC’s Church in Walthamstow (another converted cinema);
- Why didn’t KICC consult with the community before they undertook the refurbishment;
- The design does not allow much flexibility – it is mainly one very large auditorium which (beyond KICC church services) will only suit very large events, perhaps conferences given its capacity of 1,100 (seated) and 2,000 – 3,000 people (standing);
- The carpeted floor restricts scope to use the space for community events or activities like Keep Fit which was mentioned by the planning consultants;
- How suitable is the space for conferences as there are no break-out spaces or significant communal areas? How would you provide lunch for say 50% capacity in a building with no significant meeting area? I don’t think it really works for conferences because of this. Bear in mind that 500 people is a large conference and anything bigger is enormous. I’m organising one next year which is obviously academic, but also international – the next one is in Singapore and the previous one was NZ – and we’re expecting 250 people which is big for an academic conference. It is a large logistical exercise which takes a year to pull together. I am simply unsure what sort of conferences – beyond religious events – we’re talking about. Where is the evidence of demand for a conference space other than for KICC;
- Where is the demand for educational events? What sort of events are they talking about beyond careers fairs? Most schools, colleges and Universities have better spaces of their own so demand for these services is questionable – unless you’re talking of educational uses by KICC for their own events;
- The hire costs seem very high for a ‘community hub’ – £500 per hour for the main auditorium and gallery, £45 per hour for a meeting room. Discounts for community events were to £450 per hour and £35 per hour respectively;
- The numbers attending the proposed church service on a Sunday was estimated at 400 people – but it was unclear how this figure had been calculated and differing answers were given about whether it was a local or regional congregation;
- There was a distinct lack of clarity over whether KICC would obtain either a Public Entertainment Licence (needed for amplified music like a concert) and/or an alcohol licence for the building, even though the venue is being advertised for use for weddings and concerts;
- KICC’s planning consultants indicated that non-Christian religious events (such as non-Christian wedding ceremonies) would not be allowed because KICC considered the building to be their place of worship;
- Questions about whether Lesbian or Gay (LGBT) events could be held in the building were stonewalled;
- The transport consultants believed that trip attractions for cars would be about 60 car trips and car parking need could be met by using local streets within 400m and Crystal Palace Park. However, when challenged, it was clear that this assumed numbers attending would be limited to 400 people and many would use public transport. Clearly this can’t be guaranteed – after all the building holds up to 1100 people seated and 2,000 – 3,000 people standing;
- The Business Manager for the building appeared to be one of KICC’s pastors – so would this mean that events would be vetted to ensure they were acceptable to KICC’s beliefs;
- The proposed cinema club would be limited to family friendly, U certificate films aimed at children;
- How would the plans to use a drop down screen to show films in the upstairs circle work when the main auditorium is in use?
- The IT drop-in centre in the lobby consists of 6/8 screens against the wall with high chairs. It is a space for email or Facebook other than study or work. What happens when events are being held;
- The upstairs meeting room is small; no bigger than the one at the Phoenix Centre;
- The basement meeting room was unappealing, unsuitable and damp and only suitable as storage space;
- Many of the proposed uses replicate those already available in Crystal Palace.