August Newsletter – KICC commence works to the interior of the former cinema

Dear Friends of the Picture Palace Campaign,

It seems like an age since our July update informing you that:

“On 17 June, KICC (Kingsway International Christian Centre) issued its press release stating that it would not be lodging an appeal against Bromley’s planning decision in December. Instead it is now “considering a variety of building use options that will most benefit the whole community”. The Picture Palace Campaign responded positively but cautiously, encouraging KICC to enter into “meaningful dialogue” to find a “mutually acceptable outcome”. We noted that the building’s D2 classification will allow only leisure uses. And we urged KICC to contact City Screen, so as to bring back a cinema to 25 Church Road.”

As we are continually asked what is happening at 25 Church Road and where we are with the campaign, here is an update.

Latest News
Scaffolding was taken into the former cinema on Friday August 6th. Liaising closely with ward councillors, who contacted Bromley council and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) we learned that KICC is carrying out asbestos removal and decoration. The height of the ceiling of the auditorium is why full scaffolding is needed.

Given the nature of the work and the high profile this building has in Crystal Palace, local residents and traders are naturally concerned and would appreciate information from KICC, especially if it intends to use the building for religious concerts, as stated in its press release.

Despite public statements that it does not wish to fight the community it intends to serve, we remain disappointed that KICC has still not spoken with the local community. We believe that dialogue and consultation is the best way to foster a good relationship, so the absence of contact remains a serious concern for all of us supporting regeneration in Crystal Palace.

We are particularly concerned about what the latest work may signify. When news that KICC had acquired 25 Church Road filtered down to its congregation, a number of the KICC South West facebook group commented that they looked forward to attending KICC’s Watchnight services at 25 Church Road, rather than at the Fairfield Halls, the previous venue.

The KICC Watchnight service has been described as “a major evangelistic event” forming part of “London’s largest Christian New Year’s Eve celebration, with an inspirational message from the Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre, Matthew Ashimolowo” and “a feast of arts, worship and contemporary music – with artists from the UK, Africa and the States.” Trailers such as the “The Eagles are Rising” on You Tube demonstrate the event is similar to a large concert.

Is this the type of religious concert KICC plan for 25 Church Road?

A concert of this size will have the same impact regarding traffic, parking and noise that many residents objected to during the planning application for a change of use from D2 public entertainment to D1 religious worship.

The PPC will keep a close eye out for any attempt to hold concerts which involve a large element of D1 religious worship and shall endeavour to ensure attempts to perform live music or play recorded music is subject to the appropriate licensing.

We would be grateful for help from anyone with expertise of licensing issues.

We have recently been out and about, holding fun fundraisers, setting up stall outside Sainsbury’s and delivering 13,000 campaign leaflets. What is very clear – talking to local people – is that there is still huge support for the cinema campaign.

Much comes from constituents of Dulwich and West Norwood, Croydon North and Lewisham West and Penge many of whom use Crystal Palace Triangle for leisure, recreation and shopping. Since the start of the campaign, last summer, we have been working with local councillors and MPs. There is great support from all political parties active locally.

On 30 June members of the campaign team met our local MPs – the Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell, Rt Hon. Malcolm Wicks and Jim Dowd – at Westminster. It was a very constructive discussion and we are confident their help can move things forward.

The MPs agreed to facilitate a meeting with KICC and sent a letter inviting Pastor Dipo, its Chief Executive Officer, to discuss the church’s intentions for the future of 25 Church Road with local residents. This should take place in early September.

Given the growing uncertainty, rumour and speculation around KICC’s plans for the building and the possible fudging of the D2 leisure use to hold religious concerts, we believe it is more important than ever for an open discussion to view the true picture.

We will post information regarding the meetings with the MPs and KICC on our website.

We also heard of a planning application for a new mixed use development being prepared by the developer St. Aidans Group for the Victory Place/Carberry Works site off Westow Street and understand that initial proposals include a cinema.

Our focus remains returning a cinema to 25 Church Road, but we would hope to discuss this new development with the scheme’s promoters.

We will keep you posted.

Fundraising
An extra big thank you to all involved in organising, helping out, filming and those who came in droves to support our Fundraising Day on 10 July. It was a gloriously sunny day and great to meet so many lovely people.

We would particularly like to thank all those who pounded the streets of Crystal Palace, Sydenham, Forest Hill, Dulwich and beyond, delivering our latest leaflet the week before. It was a hot week but good exercise we hope…

And, the message certainly got out there. The Have Your Cake and Eat It event in association with the Transmitter magazine held at the Grape & Grain pub was a huge success and great fun. The campaign stall at Sainsbury’s was like we had never been away – the interest from young and old in bringing a cinema to Crystal Palace is definitely still there and the new Jane Shearman design limited edition campaign canvas eco- bags sold very well.

The cakes were amazing! A HUGE thanks to Gobble Gobble, Angel Cakes and ‘C’ is for Cake for their wonderful cakes and donations to the campaign, to Jane Shearman for her iconic designs, to the Peryls for their perfect musical accompaniment to a delightful afternoon and of course Rick and team at the G & G for supporting the campaign. Thanks to Andy and all at the Transmitter for making this happen, Smash Bang Wallop and Bookseller Crow for supporting us too. And, many thanks to the delightful Nadia Sawalha for making a guest appearance signing copies of her new cook book “Stuffed Vine Leaves Saved My Life”.

Check out coverage of the day in issue 13 of the Transmitter magazine: Eat Cake for Victory.
We also set up stall at Kingswood Primary School Summer Fair the following weekend. Thank you to everyone who came over to chat and buy the campaign bags.

In total we raised nearly £1,300 over the week. Thank you everyone.

What do we do with the funds raised?
Last year we set up the Picture Palace Campaign Community bank account and to date we have raised just over £9,000 through your donations for t-shirts, badges and canvas eco bags and from holding bring and buy sales, quiz nights, raffles and other events. This money is used for the purchase and printing of posters, objection postcards and thousands of leaflets as well as the t-shirts, badges and bags. We hosted the meeting for 1,000 people at the Queens Hotel in October and hired coaches to go to the planning committee meeting at Bromley back in December. Where possible we use local businesses.

We currently have £1,500 in the bank account to ensure the campaign stays in the public eye and to help pay for legal advice on proposals coming forward from KICC for 25 Church Road.

The campaign is run by volunteers and is supported by a large number of local traders and businesses (too many to name) without whose support we could not have got this far. Thank you.

Next Fundraiser
The next fundraiser is The Sphinx Dining Club Presents – a benefit dinner and concert which will take place in the atmospheric St John the Evangelist Church, Auckland Road, Upper Norwood on Saturday 16 October 2010. Tickets cost just £28 and are available from the event website The Sphinx Dining Club. Tickets are selling fast so don’t miss out!
It promises to be a spectacular evening and even the campaign team haven’t been told What to Expect other than the information that can be found on the event website. Event sponsors and supporters so far are Joanna’s restaurant, Bambino and Crystal Palace and Norwood Chamber of Commerce. If you would like to sponsor the event, please contact Noreen Meehan on 07725 057453 or email [email protected]

We hope to see lots of new and familiar faces on 16 October – it really is going to be a wonderful evening.

Jane Shearman design campaign canvas eco-bags
These are available for a donation of £5 at Bookseller Crow on the Hill for all things books (and bags) and Smash Bang Wallop for all things funky on Westow Street, Crystal Palace.
Photo here

What can you do to help?
Our message is: “Stay involved, tell us what you think and continue to support the campaign”. We continue to need your thoughts, ideas and involvement as we move forward.

Next Public Meeting
In our last newsletter we said that there would be a public meeting in August /September. People have questioned whether a meeting is necessary until we have any concrete news on KICC’s plans for the building. Please let us know what you think.

Finally – Thank you
Thank you for supporting the campaign –don’t forget you are the campaign. We wouldn’t be here without you.

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