Supporting the campaign for a cinema in Crystal Palace

As many of you will be aware, a planning application for the former bingo hall building at 25 Church Road is due to be considered shortly by Bromley Council. The current planning designation would allow the building to be used as a local cinema for our area. If the planning application is granted, it will give permission to the current owners to use 25 Church Road as a place of worship and the building would lose its current status as a community building.
I've always supported the campaign for a cinema in Crystal Palace, and hundreds of local residents who I've spoken to over the past few years believe that the best possible use for 25 Church Road would be to open it as a cinema which could be used by the whole community. Many people have been in touch over the past few weeks to express their concern that in this instance allowing 25 Church Road to be used as a place of worship would have significant impacts on the amenity of local residents, particularly in relation to traffic and parking with visitors traveling long distances by car; and would further reduce the likelihood of the long-held aspiration to open a cinema in Crystal Palace being realised.
For these reasons, together with my councillor colleagues Cllr Andy Simmons and Cllr Jon Hartley, I've written to Bromley Council to ask that the planning application is refused.  Please find below the full text of our objection which was sent to [email protected]:

Dear Sir/Madam


We are councillors representing College Ward in Southwark, which shares a boundary with the London Borough of Bromley along Crystal Palace Parade.  We are writing in relation to the planning application for 25 Church Road which has been submitted on behalf of KICC.

We have been contacted by many residents over the past few weeks in relation to this application and we are writing to ask that their views are given full consideration.  All of the residents who have contacted us are opposed to the application, and their opposition relates to two main issues:

1.       Change of use from D2 to D1 would result in the loss of a community facility which residents strongly believe should remain a community facility for the benefit of the whole community.  The long-held aspiration is for 25 Church Road to be returned to its former use as a cinema, and the change of use would make this aspiration much more difficult to realise.

 2.   The potential impacts on traffic and parking in the Crystal Palace area, including on streets in College ward as a result of church services being held at 25 Church Road on a regular basis.  Many of the roads around Crystal Palace are already at capacity and parking is extremely limited.  Large numbers of people arriving by car to attend church services would result in parking pressures across the Crystal Palace area, including in Crystal Palace Park and streets in College ward such as Farquhar Road and Jasper Road.  This area already suffers from significant parking stress, and regular major events at 25 Church Road would make the situation for existing residents intolerable.  KICC has held occasional events at 25 Church Road in recent years and the overwhelming evidence is that their members drive to get to the venue and the impacts for residents are unacceptable.

On the basis of the views of College ward residents which have been expressed to us, we are writing to oppose the application for change of use at 25 Church Road and we would urge the planning committee to refuse consent.


Yours faithfully


Cllr Helen Hayes

Cllr Andy Simmons

Cllr Jon Hartley

Labour Councillors for College Ward