A meeting was held on Wednesday 30th November at the Chimney House to discuss the sale of St. Luke’s Church Hall and the impact it will have on the community. If you weren’t aware, the Church held a public meeting on 23rd September 2011 to announce that they would be putting the Church Hall up for informal tender. See details:
This petition is to support the preservation of St Luke’s Church Hall as a community building by upholding the current D1 Class use status in the event of its sale. Under the Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended) D1 includes: medical and health services, creche, day nursery, day centre, public halls, exhibition halls, art galleries, non-residential education and training centres, places of worship and church halls.We the undersigned, ask Brighton and Hove City Council to support the local residents in preserving the community use of this Church Hall in the heart of our neighbourhood.
Other concerns that were raised at the meeting:
– Even if the D1 status is upheld initially, a developer could purchase the building and immediately close it to the Community. Within a year, the Brownies, the Youth Club, the playgroup, Zumba, the after school art club and all the children’s parties and clubs that are currently held there will have found new homes. At this point the developer will build a case around these facts and present it to the planning department with an application for change of status to allow for the building of flats/ houses. Is the Church willing to put a covenant into the deeds of the Church Hall to stop this from happening?
– We have heard that a percentage of any future profits that are made by the initial purchaser of the Hall, from it’s resale, will go to the Church. Given that the Hall spans an area equivalent of four typical Exeter Street houses and it is not a listed building, is there anything in place to stop the building from being demolished? If not, would the vicar consider including this in the covenant?
– Here’s some approximate sums: Purchase price £250 k + Demolition £30k + Build of four town houses £80k each (yes,that’s correct) = £630k. Sale of 4 new town houses, next to a Infant and Junior school and 10 min walk to station £1.8m + PROFIT £1,170,000.