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Church submits planning application for CP cinema
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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #1
14-09-2009 10:47 AM

http://www.campaign.picture-palace.org/?p=699#more-699

If you object, now is the time to do it or we could lose the possibility of having a cinema in Crystal Palace forever.

Please read more.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
15-09-2009 05:54 PM

I think I've said this before, but I don't feel I can support this campaign as I feel its being done with sour intentions and with a will to sabotage someone elses reasonable application and development plans. As everyone will probably know I am an aetheist and hence have no time for religion, but I feel that this particular group of churchgoers are having a hard time of it and for reasons that are not entirely logical. The fact that the church outbid an independent cinema for this site is a commercial one; they could afford to pay more. So why take their success out on them?

I just see this as a move to unreasonably block and undermine their position so that they are forced to sell the site back to the cinema group who originally bid for the site,assuming they are still interested in this and have the means to proceed with the work and operations.

There is no guarantee that the cinema are waiting in the wings or that the refusal of the change of use will produce a cinema or any other acceptable entertainment venue. Churches tend to be fairly innocuous neighbours so there are plenty of alternatives that could produce a less desirable outcome from the neighbourhood. I would say let them get on with it and hope that the cinema can find a location in the area. There appears to be plenty of vacant buildings around.

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #3
16-09-2009 01:12 PM

I think there is a lot of difference between a cinema, which is a cultural facility, open to all, and a church which is not.

I also don't think that everything should always go to the highest bidder and sometimes society does need to step in to ensure access to a range of cultural and social facilities for a wide range of people and locations.

We should fight to retain a good mix and from the earlier arguments it seems that this is needed.

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #4
17-09-2009 08:21 PM

Just out of interest Roz, if it was Tesco buying the site and wanting to change the usage to a Tesco Metro would you feel the same, or is it just because it is a church?

I think this campaign is exactly what they say they are: Local people who heard that their local cinema might become a cinema again, only to have it outbid by a church.

If it WAS Tesco I bet you would have the same campaign. It's about having a cinema. Not about stopping a church.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
18-09-2009 05:33 PM

If it was Tesco, I would not really be bothered as I would think that it met a community need and demand, or else it would not be there.However I do not consider myself local enough to this area so if the real locals wanted a Tesco I would not consider it my business to thwart them. The problem enlarges somewhat when a local plus campaign is started up in respect of development proposals some way away and in a different borough.

I recall the good people of CP and surrounds objecting against a cinema development many years ago in a campaign which was very successful. So its a little odd that they now seem to have changed their minds, but perhaps Bromley were offering the wrong kind of cinema, ie blockbusters, as opposed to film noir and other arty stuff.

I still feel it comes across as a bit rough on the church who have bought or are buying the site. Yes, not everything should go to the highest bidder but market forces are important particularly in this climate if anything is to happen and that is why planning policies need to retain an element of fluidity. The reason so many local cinemas close is not because churches are invading the area seeking change of use but because people do not go to them enough. If a church gets more attendance and is more popular amongst local people than a cinema then whats wrong with that.? The reality may be that if the church does not proceed then the building may lie empty for a lot longer. And if the cinema in question is so intent on being here then why aren't they negotiating with the church to buy this site off them?

The Beckenham Odeon is also rather nice and not too far away!

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michael


Posts: 3,215
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
18-09-2009 06:05 PM

Would the cinema like to make an offer for Louise House and convert this to a cinema? Ideal location, next to the new pool and the library.

Since the council do not expect to get much profit from converting this building to housing they may accept a low bid to allow the cinema to make the necessary changes to provide a cinema that serves SE23, SE26, and is only a short bus or train ride from Crystal Palace.

I support the use of cinema buildings as cinemas but it is often difficult for them to survive (see the Capitol on London Road) and I am in favour of any project that can bring a cinema to south Lewisham and Crystal Palace.

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psyche9


Posts: 73
Joined: May 2008
Post: #7
19-09-2009 10:44 AM

I think the objection to a cinema some years back was about the proposal to build a very depressing aircraft hanger-look 'leisure complex' on site of the old Crystal Palace. I don't feel that campaign negates this one - wanting a cinema in an attractive old cinema building is rather like wanting the old Forest Hill baths restored. At the same time, I am somewhat on this, given that it does seem somewhat unfair on the church (I am not a religious person); I certainly wouldn't deem the campaign 'sour' though - far from it. Overall I feel a church can be built anywhere though, as long as founded on rock - a cinema is a bit more restricted in its requirements.

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #8
20-09-2009 07:24 AM

The objection to the Cinema in CP was to build on the crystal Palace site with a horrible multiplex which was inappropriate (and ugly apparently). I don't find it odd to want to make a former cinema into a cinema again.

The people running the campaign are locals. Over 4300 local people have signed a petition to stop the change of use to a church to enable the cinema chain (who are still very much interested) to take it on. The church is not local (and is relocating from Wimbledon I believe). I don't believe the church will benefit the local community in the same way. There are already 9 (I believe) in the local area anyway!

I think a cinema is a local asset. It will bring custom to Crystal Palace (rather than as Roz says taking trade away and to Beckenham). A church can be located anywhere (god knows how many churches have been converted into flats). It's better to keep a building for the purpose to which it was originally designed.

Anyway, for those of you who do want a choice of cinema, look up the link at the top of the thread and support the campaign by contacting Bromley council to protest against the change of use for the building.

The church have deep pockets, I'm sure they will find somewhere else. It's not the end of the world for them. But it will be for any chance of a cinema in Crystal Palace if this goes ahead. There are a lot of empty shops in Crystal palace. They need it.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
20-09-2009 12:13 PM

So why aren't the cinema in negotiation with the church to buy the site from them for a commercial price, if they are so intent on this area, and the market is so good. That is what you would expect to happen if the arguments on this thread are to be supported. But its not, is it?
You will probably just end up with another empty building on that site, or perhaps another Weatherspoons pub like the Capitol....

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newcomer


Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #10
21-09-2009 02:30 PM

Michael's idea of a cinema in Louise House is a fab one. Great location (convenient to both FH and Sydenham) and an ideal way to end the day after a long swim...

Does anyone have the contact details of the cinema chain and want to suggest this to them?

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #11
22-09-2009 09:47 AM

Eh? When someone buys somewhere they aren't going to suddenly sell it to for the same price to the person they outbid. The Church wants it.

They may well sell it if they don't get permission for change of use.

Fingers crossed.

Failing that Michaels suggestion for Louise house was interesting. I"d prefer THAT to be a cinema than a church I would never use.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
22-09-2009 06:28 PM

Who mentioned selling it on at the same price. If the cinema really wants it then it needs to make a commercial offer to the church to include all costs and a bit of profit. If that does not succeed then the market has I think truly spoken. As likely as not the church have exchanged subject to planning in any case.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
24-09-2009 12:05 PM

However, if you purchase a building without permission to use it as you'd like, you take on the risk that the local community and the council may object to your intentions. Same as planning permission.

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #14
24-09-2009 05:54 PM

So basically Roz, anything is fine as long as you have enough money and can bid higher than anyone else.

Isn't capitalism great. :-)

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
24-09-2009 07:26 PM

No, capitalism isn't always great but neither is naivety about the power of the market. Markets can be extreme but in general they work in our favour, ie if people spend money in a local shop its likely to remain open and viable. That is why we no longer have a butchers and a greengrocer in Forest Hill but why they are a plenty in East Dulwich. Everyone went to Sainsburys as the FH income was generally lower than ED hence the competitive prices won the day. Its the same thinking that will probably condemn Forest Hill to having Louise House remaining empty and unused and an eyesore for many years to come, as it is becoming clear that its revenue generating potential is not going to generate adequate investment funding, especially given the exorbitant costs needed to render it functional.

Anyway, don't you think we are all better off focussing on our area and letting the good people of CP fight it out amongst themselves on their own patch.? I would really hate to think that people from outside FH were to play a major part in local decisions that could make or break our town centre. I'll try not to mention Syd Soc of course whose members appear to have played a role in the Louise House problem as its probably time we moved on, but I would be wary of the same problems occurring on other Forest Hill sites. The question of how local should local be in various circumstances is surely an interesting one requiring its own debate.

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #16
25-09-2009 07:17 AM

Well, my 'local' Cinema is in Beckenham! I'd love to have a choice and have one in Crystal Palace which isn't far from where I live. I'm working with others to help improve home park which strangely is in the Bellingham Ward, despite the fact that it's in se26. Perhaps that's one of the problems Roz, Local doesn't really exist anymore. Our high streets don't provide a range of services like they used to (and it's not just Sainsbury's and Tesco's fault). They do provide a lot of places to get our hair cut though...

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Foresters


Posts: 207
Joined: May 2006
Post: #17
25-09-2009 08:41 AM

roz Wrote:
I'll try not to mention Syd Soc of course whose members appear to have played a role in the Louise House problem as its probably time we moved on


D'oh! ...well at least you tried, roz.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #18
21-10-2009 08:57 AM

According to the media a thousand people attended a meeting to discuss the proposal for a cinema at Crystal Palace.

Last Sunday on a smaller scale the Hither Green Cinema Campaign created a temporary cinema in a warehouse which attracted 200 people.

The day also included a successful theatre workshop for children.

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #19
22-10-2009 06:55 PM

That looks brilliant Forest. Hither green have got their act together.

Hopefully Crystal Palace will get it's way and we all have a choice of 2 cinemas rather than a choice of dozens of churches.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #20
26-10-2009 02:55 PM

The church involved is Kingsway International Christian Centre (motto 'Making Champions, Taking Territories') and the cinema group is City Screen. Now if the church was really enterprising, maybe they could sublet the space to the cinema chain when they weren't holding services (generally Wednesday evening and all day Sunday). A win win solution..?

As for Louise House, City Screen's requirements are:

  • 10-20,000 sq ft to accommodate 3-5 screens.
  • Minimum ground floor of c 2,000 sqft.
  • Remaining space can be basement or upper floors.
  • Floor to ceiling span of c 4m - 8m.
  • Town centre locations and London neighbourhoods with catchments of more than 50,000.
  • Leasehold or freehold.

Not sure if Louise House is big enough.

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