THE PENTECOSTAL church which took over the former cinema building at 25 Church Road, Crystal Palace have told Bromley council they are going to apply for a mixed D1 / D2 use of the premises, say the Picture Palace Campaign.
The Campaign, set up in 2009 to bring a cinema back to Crystal Palace after the church, the Kingsway International; Christian Centre, bought the building from Gala Bingo in a secret deal,
reveal KICC’s latest plans in a post on Virtual Norwood.
The post – issued before the KICC staged a ‘Night of Joy’ event in the building on Saturday July 20th states:
“What we do know is that Bromley council is in dialogue with KICC (whatever that means) and earlier this year Bromley served a S330 notice on KICC to which there was no response. “This led to the issuing of a planning contravention notice to which KICC did eventually reply telling Bromley council that the only event they would be holding at 25 Church Road would be in December this year.
“So, it would appear that KICC have already broken that undertaking by holding an event on July 20th.
“More importantly though KICC has told Bromley that they are going to submit another application for change of use but this time for a mixed use D1/D2.
“This has not materialised (yet). It might be a bluff but it could well happen and is why we need to remain vigilant and continue to monitor the impact of any events KICC hold at 25 Church Road.
“We also know that KICC turned down another offer for the building from Picturehouse Cinemas back in April/May.”
In May Bromley council told the PPC their environmental health department served notice on KICC requiring that they cleared litter/refuse from the area outside 25 Church Road which was previously occupied by billboards within 28 days and kept it maintained to an appropriate level. Upon failure to comply with the requirements of this notice a fixed penalty was issued for the breach of notice in January 2013.
This still did not prompt clearance of the site, so an officer arranged for the completion of the works at the end of January 2013. The cost of these works including contractors fees, officer time and recovery costs were submitted for recovery from KICC.
A Bromley council spokesman told NFCP on July 19th: “We have not received a new planning application relating to 25 Church Road. “The last application, which was refused, was for advertising consent and was in 2011. “The costs referred to have been recovered from KICC – the invoice for £229.42 was paid as requested.”
- PICTURE PALACE CAMPAIGN is now urging people to contact their ward councillors and ask them what they can do to bring the building back into an inclusive entertainment use for the benefit of the whole community.
“It is our view that KICC’s activities at the building, whilst infrequent, represent an unacceptable under-utilisation of an important cultural resource. “KICC’s use of the building contributes nothing in terms of employment nor does it contribute to the regeneration of the district centre. “Nor does KICC pay business rates.
“With the exception of six events, the building is locked up and closed week in week out. “It’s a shameful state of affairs which we sincerely doubt would not be allowed to continue if the building was located, say, in Bromley town centre or elsewhere in the borough.
NOTES: A s330 notice (Town and Country Planning Act 1990) requires the recipient to provide information about the ownership of the property and of any other person who may have an interest in it. Experience has shown that the inclusion of a s330 notice with the first warning letter encourages co-operation, says a government website.
“Failure to respond to one of these notices is a criminal offence punishable in the magistrates’ court with a fine of up to £1,000. “A false statement given in response to the notice is punishable, upon conviction in the magistrates’ court, with a fine of up to £5,000 or in the crown court, with a fine, imprisonment, or both.” (source: www.gov.uk)
*D1 Non-residential institutions – clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non residential education and training centres.
D2 Assembly and leisure – Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).
Picturehouse Cinemas is a network of art house cinemas in the United Kingdom, operated by City Screen who are owned by Cineworld. As of December 2012 it has 21 sites, all in England and Scotland. The first Picturehouse opened in Oxford in 1989, but many of its cinemas operated independently before being adopted by City Screen Ltd, the official trading name of the company. One of its branches, the Duke of York’s Picture House in Brighton, opened in 1910 and is Britain’s longest continually operating cinema.