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Strong opposition to church plans for Upper Norwood bingo hall

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RESIDENTS across Upper Norwood and Crystal Palace are being urged to object to renewed plans to turn the former Gala Bingo Hall into a church.

The property's owners, Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), had previous plans for the change of use turned down by Bromley Council in 2009.

KICC has now submitted a new application seeking to turn the building in Church Road, Upper Norwood into a combination of a place of worship, conference facilities and leisure use.

The owners have invested £2 million in refurbishing the building and say only 30 per of its use would be for church services.

For the remainder of the time it would be available for community and private hire use, according to the KICC.

But members of the Picture Palace campaign, which wants the building revert to its historical use as a cinema, are sceptical about these claims.

Campaign chairman Annabel Sidney called on residents to lodge objections with the planning authority responsible for the decision, Bromley Council, before the end of the consultation period on January 12.

Ms Sidney said: "Regardless of what KICC say in their supporting planning statement, there is no obligation on them to deliver or invite any public entertainment activities should they obtain 'change of use' and none that could be successfully enforced.

"This is a source of great concern amongst many other serious planning issues such as traffic and parking, the impact on local trade and loss of opportunity to regenerate Church Road and boost local trade in the Crystal Palace Triangle."

Campaigners will be running a stall outside Sainsbury's in Westow Street, Upper Norwood between 10am and 4pm tomorrow (Saturday) and on January 10 and 17 promoting their opposition.

They are also planning leaflet drops to homes in the area and lobbying commuters at Crystal Palace Station early this month.

Residents wanting to contact Bromley Council can find more information on how to object and grounds for objection by visiting the campaign's website; cinema4crystalpalace.org.uk

Strong opposition to church plans for Upper Norwood bingo hall


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