PLANNING APPLICATION REFUSED! Bromley council refuses (again) proposals for a church at 25 Church Road

Application refused! Thank you

On Thursday evening (5 March), Bromley council’s Plans Sub-Committee 4 voted unanimously to REFUSE Kingsway International Christian Centre’s (KICC) latest planning application for ‘change of use’ of 25 Church Road.

The campaign team would like to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘thank you’ for your continued support – whether by lodging personal objections to the application, signing the petition, lobbying your councillors, London Assembly members and MPs or through generous donations of your time and funds. It was also fantastic to see so many of you attending on the night. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

We’d like to give special thanks to the Crystal Palace ward councillors who spoke eloquently and passionately on the night and to all the local residents, traders and political representatives who have supported the campaign over the past five and half years by helping out in so many different ways. Last, but by no means least, we would thank Bromley Council’s planning officers and committee members who clearly, and robustly, rejected yet another inappropriate and unwelcome planning application.

The refusal on Thursday night was an important step in preserving 25 Church Road’s exclusive D2 ‘Assembly and leisure’ use, recognising its Asset of Community Value status and sending a clear message to KICC.

KICC and their planning consultants will have been left in no doubt that locals do not support KICC’ s proposals for 25 Church Road; the three Local Authorities responsible for the health of our district centre – Bromley, Croydon and Lambeth do not support them; and, importantly, planning policy does not support them!

So, what next?

Speaking in support of the application KICC’s planning consultant asked Bromley’s planning committee “What more are our clients supposed to do?” The simple, honest and common sense answer is for KICC to honour its 2010 commitment not to fight the very community it wants to serve, by SELLING 25 Church Road to a buyer willing to return the building to its original public entertainment use i.e. a cinema.

In the interim, should KICC decide to waste more charitable funds in the pursuit of D1 (Place of Worship) use by appealing the decision or continue to ignore the clearly expressed wishes of many thousands of residents and traders, the campaign will:

  • Continue to fight against inappropriate use or developments at 25 Church Road – starting with supporting local residents and our Councillors opposing KICC’s forthcoming application for a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003.
  • Continue to press Bromley Council to bring enforcement action in the event of future use outside 25 Church Road’s designated ‘Assembly and leisure’ D2 use.
  • Robustly support Bromley council in defending any appeal and encourage the adjoining local authorities to do so too.
  • Lobby the Charity Commission to investigate whether KICC have acted appropriately in its decision to acquire and retain 25 Church Road.

We will be in touch again very soon with details of what you can do next to help the campaign.

But for now it is time to take stock, celebrate a little and take pride in just what can be achieved when the local community unites to make its voice count.

Your support is invaluable. We wouldn’t be here without it. Thank you.

With very best wishes,

Picture Palace Campaign team



Couldn’t make it to the planning committee?

Check out local journalist Jerry Green’s view from the press gallery in News from Crystal Palace:

CHURCH PLANS FOR CINEMA BUILDING THROWN OUT – AGAIN “If you put lipstick on a pig it’s still a pig” – councillor


And, see Bromley council’s press release below:

KICC plans refused by Planning Sub Committee
Published Friday, 6 March 2015

A planning application submitted for a change of use in Anerley was refused last night at a meeting of Bromley Council’s Plans Sub Committee.

The proposal to change the use of the former Bingo Hall building to mixed use for place of worship and assembly and leisure use at 25 Church Road, Anerley was rejected.

The Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) application included opening hours of 8am to 11pm Monday to Sunday including bank holidays, with Church services on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings.

“While we recognise that this was an application with great public interest, we were simply not convinced by the planning merits, with our concerns from the previously refused application not addressed satisfactorily.  Accepting the proposal would mean a loss of an important entertainment and leisure use which would adversely impact the town centre economy and social amenities” said Councillor Richard Scoates, Chairman of Plans Sub Committee.

The committee also noted that the proposal could have a detrimental effect on highway and pedestrian safety in the local area, with the proposed use attracting a large number of cars and other vehicles.  The wide catchment area for attendees would affect parking capacity, with unsatisfactory parking and drop-off arrangements proposed.


2 Responses to PLANNING APPLICATION REFUSED! Bromley council refuses (again) proposals for a church at 25 Church Road

  1. Gabby Merritt November 6, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    Having received a notice from Bromley Town Planning on 16.10.15 I need guidance in how to respond effectively so that my reply can get to them by 16 November. Can you send me some draft responses ASAP – or should we just regurgitate all previous issues ie church not needed, widely spread community therefore parking issues, not in local community’s interest, change of use not appropriate etc etc ?? Hope you can help please

    • Cinema Campaign November 9, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi Gabby, Thanks for posting. We have put some guidance on the website now. If you have anything new to add do let the Planning Inspector know.

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