“ACT NOW” CALL BY CINEMA CAMPAIGNERS
CINEMA CAMPAIGNERS say they expect the three-week statutory consultation of a Pentecostal church’s plans for the ‘mixed use ‘ of the cinema building at 25 Church Road to be issued just before the Christmas holiday period.
Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) has submitted another planning application for ‘change of use’ of 25 Church Road to a D1 ‘Place of Worship’, conference and counselling centre with D2 add-on.
As News From Crystal Palace has reported, the application is currently being validated by council officers. At the time of writing, no fresh application has appeared on the Bromley planning website.
“We are waiting for the planning application to be validated and expect it to go live and out for the three-week statutory consultation, just in time for the Christmas holiday period” says a Picture Palace Campaign announcement on their website. “This means we need you to act now please.”
The campaign is asking people to:
Request a planning application consultation letter or email notification of when the application goes live on Bromley’s planning portal
Email: [email protected] or call on 0208 313 4956. Please quote: ‘25 Church Road SE19 2TE’ and ask to be included on Bromley’s consultation database to receive a consultation letter or email notification. This will register you in the consultation process and tell you who to write to and when.
The campaign say this is important for a variety of reasons:
“25 Church Road is the only large purpose built public entertainment venue in the town centre, a landmark with a long history of serving the community, providing local entertainment from its roots as a 1920s art deco cinema through to its use as a bingo hall as recently as 2009 when KICC bought the building.
“In 2009, 3,500 local residents and traders, most of the surrounding ward councillors, London Assembly members and local MPs objected to KICC’s planning application for ‘change of use’, which was subsequently refused by Bromley council. 7,000 locals signed a petition explicitly stating that they rejected any application to allow the building to be used for religious purposes.
“25 Church Road is the last remaining dedicated D2 ‘Assembly and leisure’ venue left in Crystal Palace and has an important role in furthering the social, recreational and cultural interests of the local community within its current planning use.
“It is the first building in Crystal Palace to be listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ – a significant milestone in ensuring the continued recognition of the importance and heritage of the district centre’s largest and only D2 Public entertainment venue.
“KICC are a charity and a church whose charitable object is the advancement of religion
“There is no obligation for KICC to deliver or invite any D2 entertainment activities should they obtain ‘change of use’ to include D1 (church, conference and counselling use) and none that can be successfully enforced.
“This is a source of great concern amongst many other serious planning issues such as traffic and parking, the impact on local trade and loss of opportunity to regenerate Church Road and boost local trade in the Crystal Palace Triangle.
“If KICC, which are a church and whose charitable object is the ‘Advancement of the Christian Religion’ (not the advancement of entertainment, cinema, bingo, indoor recreation) and whose mission is to grow their congregation, obtain planning permission for ‘change of use’, the D1 permission will become the primary use of the building.
“Even now, KICC are promoting and operating the premises as their church; holding events for their members and excluding the local community; they are also operating their regional office from the building for which they do not have planning permission.
“There are three companies interested in re-opening 25 Church Road as a cinema. We must persuade Bromley council to refuse any ‘change of use’ to include D1 and we must fight to keep it as an entertainment venue for the benefit of the whole community.
“We don’t need another church with a church hall for hire; we already have plenty of these in Crystal Palace which deliver a fantastic service to the local community and support community initiatives.
“Over the past two years, KICC have had every opportunity to open the building up to the local community to use within its existing D2 planning use; they spectacularly failed to do so; and it is only now after being threatened with ‘enforcement action’ that they have had to submit a further application setting out their intended use of the premises.
“What the town centre needs is the sole D2 planning use to be retained; a use that will complement the mix of uses we have in Crystal Palace and a user that will respect the heritage of the building and the needs and wishes of the local community.
“We will be in touch again just as soon as the planning application goes live.”
Thanking people for their continued support and adding “It really is appreciated” the Picture Palace Campaign team suggest “other easy things you can do to support the campaign”:
- Share the campaign via social media
- Share this post with your friends and family, using the ‘url’
- Share it on your Facebook page
- Share it on Twitter
- Join the on-line campaigns and encourage your friends and family to as well
- Register your details at: cinema4crystalpalace.org.uk
- ‘Like’ the campaign on Facebook: Picture Palace Campaign (return a cinema to Crystal Palace)
‘Follow’ the campaign on Twitter: @picturepalace
SURVEY: What you told KICC and the campaign via their survey
The campaign have given a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who took the time to contact them, political representatives and Bromley planning with comments on FORTY SHILLINGS, KICC’s PR company’s survey and proposals for ‘change of use’ of 25 Church Road. The response was overwhelming.
As indicated in our last newsletter, we have published, on an anonymous basis, a representative sample of the comments we received. We have received many, many similar responses on the points you have raised. We, and other local community groups and organisations, share your concerns. Please read what local residents and traders had to say on our website:
THE PICTURE PALACE CAMPAIGN was set up on 24 June 2009, after a group of local residents, traders and ward councillors got together at the Royal Albert pub on Westow Hill.
The catalyst was the secret sale of the Gala bingo hall, 25 Church Road (originally built as the Rialto Cinema), to Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) a religious charity, which narrowly outbid independent cinema operator City Screen which runs Picturehouse Cinemas in Brixton, Clapham, Greenwich, Hackney and elsewhere in the UK.
Elsewhere on the campaign website http://cinema4crystalpalace.org.uk/local-residents-share-their-cinema-memories/ Mike Conrad and Paul Lloyd share their respective memories of going to the Rialto and Granada Upper Norwood cinemas at 25 Church Road
“The Saturday morning cinema at the Rialto was a great treat and not to be missed. “If you hadn’t got the money to get in you waited until a paying friend had opened the fire exit.” – Mike Conrad, local artist and campaigner.
“God is a DJ and he says he wants a cinema.” Paul Lloyd, DJ and dad.
(Paul hosts a regular monthly RPM club, at Cafe Thing bottom of Haynes Lane off Westow Street – top end of Bedwardine Road SE19) which is an open decks vinyl only night where you have the option to bring a few records along that you feel need an appreciative audience. Next event: SATURDAY DECEMBER 8th: RPM Christmas Special. 6-11pm, Free entry.)
To check Bromley planning applications go to Bromley.gov planning; press ‘search applications’ and enter ’25 Church Road’.
Further reading: See ‘Background to the News’ March 21st 2014 on this website.