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Sustainable community hub in heart of Crystal Palace Triangle

25 Church Road KICC planning licensing

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#1 charlie

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 07:25 PM

I have been forwarded the following email from one of the "community stakeholders" invited to a private briefing on KICC's latest proposals for the 'change of use' of 25 Church Road. As far as I can see the proposals are very similar to those refused at planning committee in 2009 on the grounds that:

 

1. The proposed development, involving the loss of an important entertainment/leisure use within Use Class D2 and the introduction of a mixed use including a place of worship within Use Class D1, would result in a reduction in the range of facilities provided within the town centre detrimental to the proper functioning of the daytime and evening economy and harmful to the social, cultural and economic characteristics of the area, thereby contrary to Policies 3A.18, 3D.1 and 4B.8 of the London Plan.

2.The nature of the activity associated with a Class D1 use such as a place of worship and the scale of the user means that they are likely to have a wide catchment for its congregation and attract a large number of cars and as a result the development will have a significant adverse impact on the surrounding area in terms of parking demand and pedestrian safety, contrary to Policy T18 of the Unitary Development Plan.

 

The only difference it would seem is the nomenclature used i.e Community Hub.

 

This "private briefing" will be used to demonstrate pre-application consultation to support KICC's planning application for change of use. If you have any concerns or otherwise then I would urge you to email your "political stakeholders" i.e. your ward councillors, MP and London Assembly Members whose contact details can be found HERE before they attend. That is if they are able to at such short notice!

 

I would also highlight a few key facts for your consideration:

 

  • KICC need the change of use from D2 'assembly and leisure' to D1'Place of Worship' to deliver their charitable objects via activities such as religious services, counselling, religious concerts and conferences and to justify their very significant investment in the building.

 

  • The refurbishment of 25 Church Road was completed in early 2012 with a grand opening ceremony and religious business conference for their members from across the South East in August 2012 with spectacular parking and traffic problems. This resulted in complaints to both Bromley and TFL and traders noting a significant drop in trade due to the commandeering of parking spaces.

 

  • KICC has had two years to open up the building for community use. They chose not to. Instead, they held a number of revenue generating events for their members (many falling outside the lawful D2 planning use) and knowing that because of the religious content they would not require a premises licence.

 

  • It is only since Bromley has questioned those events that KICC has had to bring forward a further planning application.

 

  • There is no premises licence for the building

 

KICC recently set up a brand new website advertising their church and various ministeries and counselling services etc. etc. at the Open Door 25 Church Road. 

 

http://www.kicctheop....uk/contact-us/

 

They were also advertising 25 Church Road as one of their network churches on their main website (this has suddenly been pulled).

 

They now have another website:

 

http://www.theopendoor.org.uk/

 

Seems odd to have two websites running side by side

 

Once KICC have planning permission for the premises to be used as a place of worship, there is absolutely nothing which can prevent them from increasing the religious use of the building. Also, the content of any events held at the building will need to be approved by the church. This was made clear when KICC were asked about holding film screenings back at their open day in 2012.

 

If that is what people want then that is fine and it is up to locals to take a view and make up their own minds when the planning application goes live. It may be something that people support and think will contribute to the sustainability of Crystal Palace. 

 

Personally I find it very sad that when KICC purchased the building in 2009, they took it out of leisure use for the first time in over 80 years. We already have plenty of churches in the area - do we really need another one? 

 

From: Open Door [mailto:consultation@theopendoor.org.uk]
Sent: 01 September 2014 12:16
To: 'Open Door '
Subject: 25 Church Road regeneration

25 Church Road regeneration

I am writing to invite you to a private briefing and tour of 25 Church Road. As you will be aware, when KICC The Open Door purchased the site in 2009 from the previous owners, Gala Bingo, the building had been allowed to deteriorate and fall into a state of disrepair.

Since 2009, The Open Door have invested over £2 million in restoring the building and 25 Church Road has now been brought up to modern standards. Following our previous change of use application for the building, we have taken on board all of the comments made by stakeholders and members of the community and have reviewed our plans.

Our vision is to create a sustainable community hub in the heart of the Crystal Palace Triangle, servicing local groups and businesses, as well as using the space for events and functions. We are already in discussion with local organisations such as fitness providers and over 50’s groups who are interested in using the facilities.

As part of this new community offer, we are looking to open a permanent cafe on the site. The Open Door will only hold two church services a week at 25 Church Road, alongside book groups and counselling, with the remaining timetable being available for other local organisations’ use. Over 70% of the Open Door timetable will be made available to the community and local organisations.

We believe that we can deliver a new community hub with a sustainable transport plan that will benefit local residents and the whole of Crystal Palace. Before we submit our application we would like to meet with you at 25 Church Road. We will be hosting tours of the site on 8th and 9th September (10am-4pm) for political and community stakeholders. Members of the project team will be available to answer your questions. I would be grateful if you would RSVP with an hour’s slot on either day that is convenient to you by email at admin@theopendoor.org.uk.  

If you require any further information before then, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to meeting you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Dipo Oluyomi
Pastor, KICC The Open Door


Edited by charlie, 03 September 2014 - 07:31 PM.


#2 Norwood lad

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 12:14 PM

Not sure a cafe in a foyer is quite the

Sustainable community hub

that church road is looking for in regeneration.

 

Everything sounds suspiciously like that was proposed last time (including the 2 church services a week) and considering the thousands who objected to this it doesn't sound like they are actually listening to the community they reckon they have listened to and more of the same from the KICC.

 

I think its worth contacting local councilors etc who have got a golden ticket invite during Monday and Tuesday to tell them no one wants a church and if you really are 'consulting' with local groups then they will take it onboard and not pursue this avenue. Of course this new consultation may just be a tick box exercise for planning and they have no intention of changing their plans as is the case here.



#3 Trux

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 12:55 PM

Sustainable - how? What does that even mean in this context? Sustained by whom, for whom, using what inputs?

Community hub? Any pub, cafe, restaurant or similar in the area is per this definition a community hub. It's a complete nonsense.

 

Can someone please explain to me how they can get away with flouting planning for so long without any sanctions?

 

It's just so bloody disheartening to see this mob of greedy deluded ****s getting their way. Not only do they blatantly lie to the community and the council, on top of that they peddle a particularly insidious form of Prosperity Gospel which in my humble opinion has as much to do with the teachings of Jesus as my left toe has.


Edited by Trux, 04 September 2014 - 12:59 PM.


#4 Palace_denizen1

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:56 PM

will the Cafe be welcoming to members of the Gay community ?  



#5 Fang

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 08:27 AM

Have they considered what this means for the Phoenix  or local Cafe's?

 

They tried all this before, after the meeting with Jim Dowd MP. They were going to re-boot their relationship with the Community. There would be community events! Evening classes! Mother and child groups! They were here to serve the community. What did we get? An event which focused on business opportunities in Nigeria (including the in the oil industry). An event on higher education, in which they claimed they were partners with Cambridge and Harvard universtes (they weren't and they had to edit their publicity material accordingly) and of course the normal slate of singsongs etc. all of which flouted the planning status of the building.

 

The KICC don't give a toss for the community . Why should they? They have no congregation here, just a building which is part of a growing property portfolio. The only reason this event is taking place is because it is a requirement for their forthcoming planning application. We really do need to challenge this as vigorously as we can.



"This is what we find, this is what we find, the hope that springs eternal, springs right up your behind."

#6 Trux

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:26 AM

will the Cafe be welcoming to members of the Gay community ?  

Only one way to find out innit? Maybe someone should arrange for an impromptu gay speed-dating thing there after it opens. (Which will hopefully never happen.)



#7 jamesl

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:39 AM

Sadly this is the usual depressing lip service to community consultation. Bottom line is that KICC have spent 4 years working on this and £2 million and then, and only then, is there a consultation with the community (to selected invited guests). 

 

Seems to me that if you are going to spend £ 2 million ona  building which you says will be 70% available to public /community use , the starting point would be to actually ask what the community wants/needs and then design the building and proposed use around that, not press on regardless. 

 

Buts instead we have a four year wait only for KICC to reveal a building with a  layout and design that is a perfect replica of KICC church in Walthamstow

 

Compare this

 

http://www.kicc.org....reet/index.html

 

 

With this

 

http://www.theopendo...uk/about-venue/

 

Spot the difference ?

 

And I wonder what consultation has taken place with traders and residents about parking before KC boldly state on the website that 

 

PARKING

  • Street Parking - Local street parking is available through out this, predominately residential areaClick here to find out what streets hold what restriction

Really ? Parking to cope with a 1100 seat venue ?

 

Still I presume our local councillors attending the consultation and Bromley Council will be asking KICC whether it will now be payig th £50 k per annum of business rates it has , to date, avoided , on the grounds the building is used for charitable purpose s- Not sure any other venue for conferences, wedding etc would get a zero rate exemption ?


Edited by jamesl, 06 September 2014 - 09:40 AM.


#8 Palace_denizen1

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 10:35 AM

voters will need information on the policies of Local Politicians viz-a-viz this Venue.  It will help us decide how to vote next time.  Is this available ? 



#9 GipsyHill

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 02:35 PM

Thanks for the comments posted.  So, is the key issue is the change of use, allowing a larger scale of mixed use, including a place of worship?  And, that this scale of use may attract high proportion of out of area congregation/visitors by car to many religious/church events, and a wide range of other commercial event types likes conventions, that is likely to overwhelm local residential roads and impact local businesses.  Of concern, is once new use is granted, there are few restrictions on the number of such large scale events (per day, per week or per year) “within that which is permitted” thereafter.

 

What, I am also unsure on is what is meant by a KICC church “service” or religious event?  Could it be like other similar KICC church locations?  Maybe KICC have stopped doing their multiple services in one day, as reported in the Telegraph (where KICC was staging five services over 12 hours and expected to attract 5,000 worshippers).

 

KICC have promoted the site online as a “... premium event space to our clients but we hope that it serves the local community too ... a venue that will suit the needs of any event... It’s a space that’s ready to serve any event from corporate conventions to large scale weddings”.  And, the capacity is stated as 1100 “seated”. But, only the upper floor appears to have fixed seats. So do we know what the total capacity for a concert/proms type event would be (where free standing chairs are removed from the main downstairs event space)?

 

Overall, it seems the potential for regular large scale use, if as above with a likely adverse impact locally on neighbouring residential streets and high street businesses, is not balanced by some potential benefits of having other ad-hoc “community” hall type events (in terms of smaller size, scale and use) on the other days of the week.

GH


Edited by GipsyHill, 06 September 2014 - 02:40 PM.


#10 charlie

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 10:22 PM

Still I presume our local councillors attending the consultation and Bromley Council will be asking KICC whether it will now be payig th £50 k per annum of business rates it has , to date, avoided , on the grounds the building is used for charitable purpose s- Not sure any other venue for conferences, wedding etc would get a zero rate exemption ?

 

Not quite £50K per annum jamesl. By my calculation, KICC owes the central government business rate pool £50,804 since 25 August 2012 to date. That includes the 2p per £ rateable value levy for Crossrail. Without the levy, it amounts to £48,723. KICC currently receives Mandatory rate relief of 80 percent of the rateable value which is £65,000 per annum.  

 

I would be amazed if KICC's activities at the premises over the past 24 months and current proposals merit any rate relief under existing legislation. 

 

KICC have promoted the site online as a “... premium event space to our clients but we hope that it serves the local community too ... a venue that will suit the needs of any event... It’s a space that’s ready to serve any event from corporate conventions to large scale weddings”.  And, the capacity is stated as 1100 “seated”. But, only the upper floor appears to have fixed seats. So do we know what the total capacity for a concert/proms type event would be (where free standing chairs are removed from the main downstairs event space)?

 

Overall, it seems the potential for regular large scale use, if as above with a likely adverse impact locally on neighbouring residential streets and high street businesses, is not balanced by some potential benefits of having other ad-hoc “community” hall type events (in terms of smaller size, scale and use) on the other days of the week.

GH

 

GipsyHill, thank you for your considered post. To answer your question, in 2009, when it was looking like their planning application was going to be refused, KICC's planning consultant, at planning committee, threatened that if standing capacity was introduced the building could hold hold way in excess of the 1,150 seated capacity. Infact, if my memory serves me correctly, Hyder who were KICC's transport consultants at the time stated, again as a threat, that the standing capacity was 2,000 - 3,000.

 

This does not seem very community minded.


Edited by charlie, 06 September 2014 - 10:29 PM.


#11 CapitAl

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 11:02 AM

I've emailed Cllr Williams, the Crystal Palace Cllr for Bromley, making some of these points.He seems very much "on our side" and is attending the event. I'm quite pessimistic about the eventual outcome however, it seems to me that KICC may have been having discussions with Bromley and will do just enough in their application for change in use to get it approved. Al

#12 jamesl

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 11:59 AM

I just hope Bromley have been robust and pushed for sight of a written business plan setting out the anticipated hours of operation,number of events and type,prices etc together with a detailed transport plan etc

If the councillors ask a question at the consultation it should be this

Why arent you using your 1100 seater venue to host an open Q&A session with all of the above published in advance and at a weekend when most residents could attend ?

#13 charlie

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 12:56 PM

I just hope Bromley have been robust and pushed for sight of a written business plan setting out the anticipated hours of operation,number of events and type,prices etc together with a detailed transport plan etc

If the councillors ask a question at the consultation it should be this

Why arent you using your 1100 seater venue to host an open Q&A session with all of the above published in advance and at a weekend when most residents could attend ?

 

Perhaps they will after the private briefing?

 

I think we should be careful what we say on a public forum as KICC will be taking note and you get the impression they will say anything to secure the change of use to a place of worship and the application has not been submitted yet.

 

They've already copy and pasted text from the paper Andreas researched on the historical, cultural and architectural significance of 25 Church Road which was published on the old cinema campaign website. They haven't bothered to disguise it, even lifting his headings.

 

http://www.theopendo...uk/about-venue/

 

I suppose we should be flattered and it is sort of funny but actions do speak louder than words and for the past 2 years KICC have spectacularly failed to engage with the community or open the building up to the community, yet have managed to hold events for their members . They have been approached by locals about holding events at the building but I gather that the organisers gave up in the end because the proposed events didn't fit with the religious ethos of the owners.


Edited by charlie, 07 September 2014 - 12:58 PM.


#14 Norwood lad

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 05:51 PM

Yes KICC do monitor these forums and their events manager who is also pastor of their West Croydon branch recently joined the CP life forum yet hasn't posted so is obviously lurking for info.

Edited by Norwood lad, 07 September 2014 - 05:52 PM.


#15 jamesl

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 07:18 PM

"They've already copy and pasted text from the paper Andreas researched on the historical, cultural and architectural significance of 25 Church Road which was published on the old cinema campaign website. They haven't bothered to disguise it, even lifting his headings.

http://www.theopendo...k/about-venue/"

Yes I noticed that, along with the shameless suggestion they have respected the heritage of the building (skirting over the upvc windows which are in breach of the conservation area guidelines and the fact that until locals objected they planned to rip out the doors and fanlight windows and reduce the canopy-all of which were features of the original 1920's design)

Edited by jamesl, 07 September 2014 - 07:19 PM.






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