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 Armstrong & Co Solicitors

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Planning Application: 35 Sunderland Road
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Posts: 147
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #21
12-04-2010 12:29 AM

Pmsl, Roz - that's exactly what my sister-in-law said when she saw it!

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Posts: 104
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #22
12-04-2010 03:45 PM

I understand this address is currently subject to planning enforcement proceedings.

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Moo Grob

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2009
Post: #23
12-04-2010 04:55 PM

Yes, that is correct.

The Planning Commitee decided unanimously at a meeting back in October 2009 to serve a 3 month Enforcement Notice for the address to cease activities as a church. When that period was over and I saw (and heard) the activities carrying on I questioned what the Council would be doing now. I found out the notice had never actually been given to the church - but it was consequently issued in February 2010.

The church appealed for more time on the grounds that 3 months wasn't a long enough peroid to make arrangements for another venue (and as it turns out at the same time they were submitting a planning application to stay in the building). That appeal was based on completely false gounds and I hope the inspector is not fooled by it.

The deadline for representations for/against the appeal was 1st April and the decision is still outstanding today, as far as I'm aware.

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Posts: 83
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #24
12-04-2010 08:03 PM

The Transport statement in the planning pack says that the majority of users will be attending on foot and only a few will use cars.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #25
12-04-2010 09:25 PM

How would they be intending to ensure that they come on foot? Not realistic is it?

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Posts: 3,243
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #26
12-04-2010 10:16 PM

My favourite bit of the travel plan is paragraph 23:

House of Favour wrote:
The monthly Friday night service will end after the last buses and trains. As such, it is likely that the congregation will have to find alternative means of transport to return home. Congregants who attend will be encouraged to cycle or walk.

I wonder how many of the congregants will cycle home at 2am to Dagenham, Rainham, Streatham, Deptford, Thamesmead, or Barking?

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #27
12-04-2010 10:47 PM

Some interesting extracts from the website;

....woman who lights up House of favour with her natural glow and scintillating smiles. She is an encourager and always has a ready word of encouragement for all who come across her. God has blessed her with revelational gifts. She is able to discern dreams and interpret them through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Womenís Ministry:
Itís a group designed to cater for the total woman. It brings out the queenly qualities in every woman, teaching them to be homemakers and wise home builders. The womenís fellowship is exclusively for women and develops its members to be God-chasers who support their husbands / families vision/ministry. The group also teaches its members to be ambassadors for Christ and to be relevant to their community. Emphasis is given to prayers and the study of the word. Workshops and seminars are also regularly organised to build up the woman.

Indeed. I can't wait to join. We should have more of these places.

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Posts: 3,243
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #28
14-12-2010 06:19 PM

The planning inspector has today decided that this is not a suitable site for a church and has allowed 6 months for them to cease using this building as a church.

planning inspector wrote:
Despite mitigating measures, the quantum of the evidence suggests that the development carried out is detrimental to nearby residentsí living conditions, because of the siteís proximity to residential properties. This is due to the unacceptable levels of noise caused by the use of the building as a place of worship.

In addition to this, the use of the property as a place of worship increases kerbside parking thereby harming local amenities. Much is said about the lack of empirical evidence, but the Councilís opposition to the development is supported by local residents and the Forest Hill Society. These concerns are genuine planning objections, and I have found that the development conflicts with development plan policies.

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robin orton

Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #29
15-12-2010 10:50 AM

I've no information about this particular application, but I'm told there's a general problem when churches want to buy a building and change its use to a church. If they wait until they've got permission in principle to the change of use, they risk losing the property because another buyer moves in. Hence the temptation to buy anyway, start using it as a church and hope they can get planning permission retrospectively.

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Posts: 3,243
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #30
15-12-2010 12:08 PM

I've got no problem with them buying the property and applying for change of use, but why do they have to start using it without consent? Would it not be more appropriate for a church to make sure their activities were entirely in keeping with planning regulations?

The result of this particular church is unacceptable levels of noise and parking difficulties for neighbours for at least two years.

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Posts: 1,515
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #31
17-12-2010 10:46 AM

Well that's good news that it's been refused. Thumbsup
I wonder how long it will actually take for them to stop using it.
I know a lot of locals will be pleased to get their parking back.

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Posts: 379
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #32
17-12-2010 01:00 PM

The Jehovah's Witnesses had no difficulty in applying for permission around the corner on Brockley Rise. It just takes time. (They got change of use granted in 2008 and still have not moved).

See DC/08/70082, DC/09/71352/X , DC/09/72977/X , DC/10/74912/FT

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