Disappointing news for residents in Cottingham Road today. A letter from the Planning Inspectorate today has confirmed that the Inspector has allowed New Congregation of Cherubim’s appeal against the council’s refusal of their application to run a church in the upper floors of the old Edginton’s building in Green Lane. The church is already operating and residents in Cottingham Road have been complaining about the disturbance the visitors cause to their lives.
To us, the Inspector’s decision is perplexing to say the least. This church has no place in a residential area, even one of the edge of the commercial district. The Inspector did acknowledge that this was a finely balanced case. He acknowledged the reports of disturbance from residents but was clearly influenced by the lack of objections from the council’s highways and environmental health sections. There is no further opportunity to appeal.
The Inspector has imposed conditions restricting the use of the building to a maximum congregation of 80 and to the hours of 12.30 – 16.00 on Sundays and 18.00 – 21.00 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Any reports of disturbance can still be investigated as a separate matter if residents make full and proper reports. Residents need to be vigilant in reporting breaches of the planning conditions.
The top floor of these premises already had permission to be converted to flats. Presumably that development will no longer go ahead.
These are also the same premises which the council had been looking at to provide a new Library for Penge. The council’s lack of action has now not only deprived us of the best available location for the Library but also enabled this disturbance to be foisted on local people.