The Picture Palace Campaign has been informed that Councillor Pat Ryan, Labour member for Upper Norwood ward, has written to both the Chief Executive and Leader of Bromley Council regarding the news that Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) will hold religious services at 25 Church Road, despite having been refused planning permission for change of use. Councillor Ryan, writing in response to an article in the Croydon Advertiser, asked Bromley Council what steps they would take to ensure that KICC does not ignore the planning decision taken in December 2009 to retain the D2 entertainment use of the building. He is concerned, like many Crystal Palace residents, that KICC is spending much money and time refurbishing the building, but there has been no consultation with the local community about its plans.
Bob McQuillan, chief planner for Bromley Council responded to Cllr Ryan’s concerns saying: “The starting point is what planning legislation enables a local planning authority to do…it does not enable action to be taken in anticipation of a breach but only after a breach occurs and only then if it is expedient to take action. In response to the press articles we have spoken to the Crystal Palace Town Centre Manager and are writing to KICC advising them that they should not do anything which needs planning permission without obtaining it and that if they do so they are at risk of action being taken. We have also asked that they clarify their intended use of the building.”
The Picture Palace Campaign welcomes Bromley Council’s call to KICC to clarify its intentions for the building. The Campaign has been asking for them to be revealed for some time. KICC has still not answered requests from local MPs to meet with representatives of the local community.