CINEMA CAMPAIGNERS CALL FOR RESIDENTS OBJECTIONS TO NEW ‘MIXED USE’ PLANS
“NO OBLIGATION” FOR KICC TO HAVE PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT IF THEY GET CHANGE OF USE
CHURCH HOLDS NEW YEAR’S EVE WATCHNIGHT SERVICE
The Picture Palace Campaign are calling on people to object to KICC’s planning application’s for change of use of 25 Church Road in Crystal Palace to a D1 ‘Place of worship’, conference and counselling centre
Kingsway International Christian Centre’s (KICC) planning application for the ‘change of use’ of 25 Church Road in Crystal Palace (former Rialto cinema) to a D1 church, conference and counselling centre with D2 add-on has been validated and is now out for consultation until Monday 12 January 2015 – over the Christmas period.
Annabel Sidney, who chairs the Picture Palace Campaign said: “Regardless of what KICC say in their supporting planning statement, there is no obligation for KICC to deliver or invite any D2 public entertainment activities should they obtain ‘change of use’ and none that could be successfully enforced.
The Campaign’s call for residents to object comes as KICC hold another controversial ‘Watchnight’ service in the cinema building at 25 Church Road tonight (New Year’s Eve) – see below.
“The new application for a church and mixed use 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.”
“KICC are a church and a charity first and foremost. “It is important to note that KICC’s charitable object is the ‘advancement of the Christian religion’ (not the advancement of entertainment, cinema, bingo, indoor recreation) and their mission is to grow their congregation.
“If KICC obtain planning permission for ‘change of use’, the D1 permission for a church will become the primary use of the premises.
“KICC are obliged through their charitable status to pursue their charitable object and the Charity Commission would expect them to do so.
“None of the activities KICC deliver to fulfil their charitable object fall within the existing D2 public entertainment use as they do not operate mixed use community public entertainment hubs.
“Indeed, there is nothing in the application to demonstrate any serious intentions to run a mixed use entertainment venue.
“Moreover, there are no legal safeguards that can ensure that community use would be protected if ‘change of use’ were granted.
“The Picture Palace campaign calls on all local residents and stakeholders to object to this application now.”
CHURCH HOLDS NEW YEAR’S EVE WATCHNIGHT SERVICE
A cinema campaigner who has contacted Bromley council over KICC’s decision to hold another Watchnight service tonight has been told council officers will monitor the event.
About the Picture Palace Campaign:
The Picture Palace Campaign started on 24 June 2009, after a group of local residents, traders and ward councillors met to discuss 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.
To secure the site, KICC had narrowly outbid independent cinema operator City Screen that runs Picturehouse Cinemas in Brixton, Clapham, Greenwich, Hackney and elsewhere in the UK.
The private sale had come out of the blue and many felt the cultural and economic benefits of bringing a cinema to Crystal Palace had not been considered properly. Local people had been lobbying to bring a cinema to Crystal Palace for many years. The former Rialto was built as a cinema in 1928 and still retains many original features; it is the perfect location.
In August 2009, KICC announced that they intended to turn the venue into a Place of Worship (D1 planning use) despite the fact that the building has a designated D2 planning use for leisure.
Change of use was refused at planning committee by Bromley council on 17 December 2009 after thousands of locals objected to KICC’s planning application.
More guidance and information on grounds for objection can be found at the campaign’s website: http://cinema4crystalpalace.org.uk
CHURCH PLANS ‘WATCHNIGHT SERVICE’ IN CINEMA BUILDING – CAMPAIGNERS AND COUNCILLOR DEMAND ACTION “KICC cannot have it both ways” – Cllr Tom Papworth (This website, December 25, 2013)
CINEMA CAMPAIGN – BROMLEY PLANNERS REASONS FOR LACK OF ACTION (This website: July 11, 2013)
NEW BID TO USE FORMER CINEMA FOR CHURCH SERVICES ‘Dual purpose’ application expected (This website, March 21, 2014) Includes report of planning committee meeting February 2014
(More related stories can be found by searching 25 Church Road / KICC / Picture Palace Campaign on this website – Ed.))