FONTGATE: … WITH MORE CRITICISM OF KICC PLANS ON VIRTUAL NORWOOD,,,,
GipsyHill posted October 2nd
Why assume there is only to be about 1000 people at all KICC church events Crystal Palace?
At other KICC church special services, they have had multiple services a day. That could mean 4000+ visitors across the day, with multiple shifts of congregation (and different vehicles) arriving across the day.
But this is not proposed only used as a church by KICC, it seem it could be used for KICC organised and hosted client events across the year for a range of special programmes and conferences and special events.
In the past, this included hiring the ExCel for a venue for 10,000 people for an international event over fivedays. As I understand it KICC Prayer City events in Maidstone is a facility that can house 15,000 on an event night.
Would it be convenient for KICC to have a new South London purpose fitted premium venue for their corporate events, conventions, trade shows, forums and concerts? And maybe run more than one service /programme /show per day?
The impact locally to KICC-hosted client and international events may overwhelm Crystal Palace for local parking on other days of the week too. If their operating model includes needing licenced events to 2am, then most train services do not exist at that time.
They do know that our trains on Sunday are a pale shadow of the weekday service? Two trains an hour to and from Victoria (and for some reason they often use 4-car units, which are as a result overcrowded – a quarter the capacity of Saturdays with four 8-car trains per hour, but about 75 pc the number of passengers), two Overgrounds an hour (when it’s not closed for engineering work, which at present it mostly is), and sweet nothing to Tulse Hill / Dulwich / Peckham / London Bridge.
Am still concerned about the pavements though. On that side of Church Road they are very, very narrow in places. I can’t see how you get 1200 people in and out safely (whether they’re cinema-goers or church-goers) without significant pavement widening, and re-doing the crossings at the top of Anerley Hill to be able to cope with a lot more pedestrians.
We’re talking about potentially 600 ish people walking down Anerley Hill on a regular basis – that is obviously not practical with things as they are.
GipsyHill posted October 3rd
Has there been an independent assessment of the site’s lawful event capacity, now the site is being actively promoted as a multi-use venue including concerts?
Has this 25 Church Road Summary Response been qualified or updated: “If the site’s current lawful use is operated to its full capacity (which could be well in excess of the existing 1150 seating capacity as there is a plenty of standing area and/or to cater for 2/3000 people if all seats are removed) this would generate far higher levels of traffic and car parking demand than this proposal with a maximum 600 person restriction.”
Could that be up to 9,000 people per day if just three such events /services /shows /forums /conferences are performed, noting it is now ready as “venue that will suit the needs of any event.”?
KICC say the “six services a day” at their Hoe Street (Walthamstow) church are not a suitable comparison for their last proposal for 25CR. My observation is that it can happen, and KICC have allowed it as they understandably prioritised their needs with the resources they owned.
If not every week, then in extenuating circumstances, and special events multiple services /events per day are a common feature with KICC-organised client events and services. If we then “add on” other leisure uses KICC “want to retain” at 25 Church Road.
I can see why parking and impact locally is a significant issue, and may not realistically be addressed by a transport plan if this only addresses “when church services will be held”.
Norwood lad posted October 4th
This (survey) is merely a wishlist of what KICC wants to do with the building. Nothing you are proposing is of any use to the area and their is no option to object to a religious use to the building.
Its worth people taking two minutes to fill this in as the planning consultations will use the evidence of this survey to claim we all want the whats proposed. If enough people say no they can fudge or ignore it. If you not happy giving your name or address just leave it blank or use 25 Church rd as an address.
Chairman, Crystal Palace Park Community Stakeholder Group:
I would caution against any organisation basing any plans on an assumption that Crystal Palace park will continue to be available for use as a free car park.
One of the improvements to be funded under the recent £2 million GLA improvement award, will be a reduction in the amount of hard surfaces/tarmac in the Park. In short, there will be a dramatic reduction in the current level of car parking spaces available, with priority being given to users of the NSC.
We have to get away from thinking that the park is an ‘overspill’ facility for the wider district. It is a park, not a car park.
Jamesl – posted October 7th
(On his and others discovery of the baptismal font): Unfortunately, one of the gentlemen who lifted the second hatch lost his grip (they are pretty heavy) and it slipped off its mounting and went crashing down into the pool with a massive clang !!!
Caused a bit of a commotion and we were all a bit embarrassed but , ultimately , it was a balance because I feel the info was important (and we did ask the consultants if we could inspect the stage after I asked, three times, for confirmation that the pool wasn’t there).
“There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” —Proverbs 6:16–19
But try telling that to KICC.
Fundamentally I believe the issue is relevant to the issue of trust and credibility in what KICC say – as summed up here
For me I feel the discovery in 2014 of a large baptismal font (which may have been in situ since 2012 when rumours first emerged) says a lot about KICC’s true intentions and I compare it, unfavourably, with what they reportedly said in June 2010 which was this:
Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) confirmed today in a statement it would not be challenging Bromley Council’s decision to refuse the change from D2 community use because it does not want to be seen as “fighting” the very community it wanted to serve…
KICC released a statement earlier today, on the deadline day for a decision on whether or not it would be appealing the planning decision made by Bromley Council on December 17 last year.
Its statement read: “Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) is now able to confirm it will not be lodging an appeal against the planning decision taken on December 17, 2009, regarding 25, Church Road, Crystal Palace.
“Contrary to recent press speculation, KICC’s planning consultants had advised that KICC stood a very good chance of lodging a successful appeal.However, KICC does not wish to be seen as “fighting” the very community that it wishes to serve.
“It was always in KICC’s plans for the building to have a large element of community use in any seven days (as anyone who has studied the original planning application can verify); the church is now considering a variety of building use options that will most benefit the whole community.”
The church said it would be releasing a fuller statement in due course in terms of its plans for the building, which it was still deciding, and would consult with the community over the plans.
A KICC spokesman said: “The use will be in line with its current community use as stipulated by D2 planning use.” He said KICC would look to use it as a cinema showing family films as well as offer it for use for amateur threatre groups to put on plays, and for concerts, including Christian music.
He remained tight-lipped over how extensively it would be used by KICC for its activities
That was four years ago and , until this weekend , there has been no meaningful consultation and very little clarity about KICC’s intentions
In the interim:
KICC have carried on re-modelling the building so it is very close replica to it Hoe Street Church (at which it has held six services per Sunday of up to 1000 per service).
We have also had a number of KICC organised events at 25 Church Road, which Bromley have accepted may well have not been within the permitted D 2.
There have also been two Watchnight/similar events at News Year Eve (which previously have been so large that KICC held them in Fairfield Halls in Croydon).
The hosting of two Watchnight services was despite KICC indicating that it had ‘no plans’ that these would take place at 25 Church Road when I and others met the KICC’s trustees in a two hour meeting, arranged via our MP’s, to discuss their plans, outline how unsettled people were with the lack of consultation (having publicly promised they would consult) and to explain the importance of the building in terms of its social and regenerative possibilities.
That was over two years ago (and it took them 18 months to even agree to a meeting, despite three constituency MP’s requesting one on numerous occasions) but again there was subsequently no publication of plans or meaningful consultation.
The open day two years ago is another example. It was hastily arranged and only after our MP’s wrote directly to the trustees (having had no response from the executive managements) to complain about the lack of consultation – which, by the way, as a charity they are obliged to do in accordance with Charity Commission written guidance.
KICC advertised for a business manager to promote 25 Church Road for D 2 use but – guess what – it was advertised on its website only and went to one of its congregation.
Which brings us to the here and now and the introduction of a second attempt to introduce D1 which, in my eyes, seems to go back on the reported statement above of a use ‘in line’ with D2 (note conferences which they also advertising are also D1, not D2)
Ultimately if KICC are to convince with the latest plans, I believe it requires convincing many that what they say can be trusted.
I for one do not trust the KICC and I sincerely believe that far from a low level of religious use (they currently suggesting one service on a Sunday of 400 local congregants) what we may end up with is a south London version of their north west London Hoe Street church.
Tom_87 posted October 8th
James – I think you’ve touched on the key issue here. If the council are minded to permit this application how will they ensure the facility remains available to the community and isn’t just let to affiliates of KICC?
Whilst it may be possible to limit the number of days per week it can be used for D1 religious use via a planning condition it will be difficult to ensure it’s let to community groups for the remainder of the time.
This is assuming that anyone in the community wants to hire a £500/hour venue in which alcohol is prohibited, paid ticketing is not allowed, and all profit goes to fund a militantly evangelical organisation with a declared aim of converting as many people as possible to its divisive, anti-science, overtly homophobic mindset.
To my mind that’s a “community venue” in name only.
Maybe the baptism pool/hot tub…. will make it attractive to a local swingers club? Perhaps they could offer to hire it?
Planning conditions are difficult to enforce. Even the Planning Inspectorate recognises that. As for a community use agreement, I have serious doubts as to whether that could be successfully enforced either.
KICC are a church, their fundamental charitable object is the advancement of religion. Once they have the D1 planning use, the building will OFFICIALLY become a CHURCH ( it’s already being run as a church without the change of use!) and in line with their object, they will pursue as many activities as possible to deliver that object as they are required to do.
They are already laying down the law as to what people can hire the building for and each and every request to hold an event at the venue will be vetted by the pastors to ensure it fits with their religious ethos.
We need to fight hard to save the D2 use of this ‘Asset of Community Value’ and then perhaps KICC will consider selling up so that they can invest the money in delivering their charitable activities from a building which has the correct planning use i.e D1 of which there are many many being advertised for sale all the time.
Thanks to everyone who has completed the survey so far. Some very considered and thoughtful comments coming through but we do need more people to take part please and copy to your ward councillors, Bromley council planners and the Picture Palace Campaign.
KICC are lobbying their members and anyone who has signed up to their mailing list to take part in their survey. KICC are clearly worried as this was sent out on Tuesday just after the Picture Palace Campaign mailshot:
The Open Door Consultation needs your support
As many of you are aware we have recently completed our over £2million restoration of 25 Church Road in Crystal Palace.
In order to operate our church services at the venue, we are applying to the Council to ADD-ON worship to the current assembly and leisure use of the building.
We have looked at how the venue would best serve the community and have developed a vision for it not only being The Open Door Church but also a cultural hub for Crystal Palace.
The building was previously a rather neglected bingo hall and did not add much to the local neighbourhood. Our vision is to bring a vibrancy back to Church Road.
We are now consulting the local community, if you live in the borough of Bromley or near Crystal Palace or expect to attend The Open Door services please let us know what you think of our plans.
We have established a have your say page on our website at www.theopendoor.org.uk the link is http://www.theopendoor.org.uk/survey/
I urge you to please take a moment to fill in one of these forms and ask that you spread the word to your friends and family particularly those living near Crystal Palace to do so also.
The closing date for having your say is this Friday. I cannot emphasise enough how much local support would mean to the success of The Open Door.
If you have the time we would also ask you to write or email your local councillors and the Bromley council planning committee. More details of their contact details will follow in the next week or two before we submit our application.
If you would like to make comments in the comment section of the form, we would love to hear what you think in your own words. I have set out below some key points from our consultation work so far…
1. This is a unique plan by The Open Door to create a cultural hub for Crystal Palace.
2. We have created a Sustainable Travel Plan for our congregation and feel this would have less of a negative impact on parking than full cinema use.
3. All of the people attending events at the building will be arriving on foot so we would expect this to benefit footfall for other Church Road businesses.
4. The Open Door expect that 70 per cent of the timetable will be available for community use.
5. We bought the building in 2009 on an open market, as far as we are aware, no other bidder could meet the costs of the purchase and the restoration work necessary.
6. We have offered to host a cinema club as an example of the kind of events that could be held at The Open Door.
Once again, please ask everyone you know in Crystal Palace and Bromley to spread the word and fill in our feedback form.
It’s flattering that we are seen as such a threat to their ambitions but it raises the question of just how many KICC supporters this has gone out to.
It also raises the question as to why a MEGA MEGA rich church is so determined to make 25 Church Road their church and deprive the local community of the thing that so many people want which is a cinema.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the Campaign newsletter please please do and please take part in the on-line survey and cut and paste your comments to the campaign, your MP, ward councillors and London Assembly member plus Bromley planning.
KICC’s proposals for ‘Change of Use’ of 25 Church Road to a D1 ‘Place of Worship/Conference’ venue with D2 add-on
Norwood lad posted October 8th
Love the comment about the old bingo hall “But did not add much to the local neighbourhood “.
Its not as if the KICC did nothing but present a closed building to the world for over five years years and now want to change the use to use as OUR church which will add nothing to the area but nick the very limited parking spaces in the area struggling businesses on Church Rd rely on for weekend trade.
Good to know they are rattled and reading local media. Might want to hold back any suprises and not reveal any info here they will try to counter (big wave to those lurking).
jamesl posted October 8th
The other important point here is that the D1 use application is not just about religious worship. I understand that they also need D1 for to hold conferences as D1 includes
Schools, Colleges, Universities, other places of education, Crèches, Day Nursery, Day Centre, Clinic, Health Centre, Dental Surgery, Consulting Room, Art Gallery (other than for sale or hire), Museum, Public Library, Reading Room, Church, Mosque, Temple, Shrine, other places of worship or religious instruction, Civic and Community Halls, Exhibition Halls, Conference and Training Centres
KICC are advertising the building (which seats 1100) as a conference centre for hire at £500 per hour – that’s unlikely, I would have thought, to be taken up by community groups.
But – lets say this takes off – surely a conference facility for 1100 people will mean traffic parking stress? In addition KICC itself hold conferences (very large ones) – what about the impact of those ?
Curiously the possibility of 1100 delegates arriving in the Triangle for a conference is not mentioned , either in their survey or in the ameliorative letter sent to the Chamber of Commerce about parking, which paints all this as a small “add on” to existing use.