Christian Revival Church (CRC) win appeal after planning committee rejected bid to move into Harlow Leisurezone
Faith Matters / Sun 24th Jul 2022 at 11:49am
AN APPEAL after the Harlow Council planning committee rejected a bid by a church to use the Harlow Leisurezone has been allowed by a planning inspector.
Back in June 2021, the committee rejected the bid by Brass Architecture on behalf of the CRC Church .
At the time, all the councillors (Labour and Conservative) objected to the proposal. (see film below).
A Harlow Council spokesperson said: “The council notes the Inspector’s decision, but it also notes that no costs have been awarded against the council.
“The situation has now moved on with a veterinary business securing planning consent for that space in March 2022.”
YH has spoken to the Christian Revival Church (CRC) and will publish a respond in due course.
The full decision is below
How disgraceful, so now openly homophobic organisations can use Harlow's Leisurezone. Harlow Council you should be ashamed.... utterly ashamed.
I am afraid that it is the Trustees of the Leisurezone who should hold their heads in shame, not the Council who after all listened to the objections and refused permission. The second paragraph in section six is the key to this matter. The Trustees should haver listened to residents opposition and withdrawn their offer to the Church group top occupy this space.
Ruth, Nicholas Taylor is right. If you actually read the article, you would see at the beginning that the original application was rejected unanimously by all members of the Development Committee - both Conservative and Labour. The Council cannot stop the Applicant from making an appeal.
Now I understand why the Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower in 1620. The United States Constitution guarantees the freedom of religious belief and practice in the First Amendment. It amazes me how many Brits consider the USA backward when the UK doesn't have a written Constitution that guarantees basic rights.
David Vincent, nobody was denying anybody’s right to pursue whatever religion or faith they choose, simply that the Leisurezone is not an appropriate location for religious practices of any denomination or creed.
To Councillor James Leppard I have two points: first is that the Council officers recommended to the Development Management (Planning) Committee that the CRC church's application should be approved; second point is the Planning Inspector said: "is the use of the land, in this case for religious teachings, and not the organisation that is the determining factor in deciding if the proposal is in accordance with the development plan." To quote Council officers I refer to page 87 of the public reports pack of the meeting on 8 June 2021: "The proposed change of use, therefore, is in principle acceptable and would comply with the Harlow Local Development Plan." So the councillors were wrong, end of. To see the report pack click following link and start from page 84: https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/documents/g1378/Public%20reports%20pack%2008th-Jun-2021%2019.30%20Development%20Management%20Committee.pdf?T=10
David Vincent, you are quoting the Planning Inspector on appeal. Yes, the Planning Management recommended approval, but in view of the objections from the public and the issue of whether the Leisurezone should be used for religious purposes, I believe the concerns voiced unanimously by Committee members were not capricious. Sometimes, one may lose but still be right. Unfortunately, we must now to defer to the ruling.
Councillor Leppard, Council officers presented a supplementary report summarising the 5 objections to the application. On page 10 Council Officers say: "Hire costs and religion are not a material consideration." "In conclusion, the additional letters of representation received do not alter the Officer’s recommendation to grant planning permission subject to conditions." So, you and the other 7 councillors were incorrect to refuse the application. Yourharlow readers can read the supplementary report at: https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/documents/b4525/Supplementary%20Agenda%201%20-%20Supplementary%20Representations%2008th-Jun-2021%2019.30%20Development%20Management%20.pdf?T=9
So, one may conclude that you are happy with the outcome.
The Christian Revival Church preaches the 'prosperity' gospel. This is an unbiblical doctrine that tells you that you will become finacially prosperous if you give to their church. The head of the CRC is a man called At Boshoff, who is one of the richest pastors (I use that term loosely) in Africa. Do not give your money to this so called church. In Harlow, there are Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and Lutheran denominations who will welcome you into their pews and who care about your souls, not your money
A bit of cross training eh?
Was it Harlow Recreational Trust that supported sports in the town, that invested heavily in the LeisureZone? The old sports centre was demolished and the investment cut funding to other sports groups in the town. No one intended that any of the site should be used for religious purposes, Churches have already acquired centres in the town that were intended for non religious community and sports activities by hoodwinking and excluding residents and this church is an anachronism, the Trustees of the LeisureZone failed in entertaining the proposal from the Church nowhere in the objects of the LeisureZone charity are the Trustees obligated to provide a place of worship and indoctrination and so they failed us all. Had the Council not withdrawn it's support for Science Alive, something that ties in with much needed STEM education as the town is growing a strong Science and IT sector then this situation would never have happened. Only a narrow minded rich Church would continue to press when it's clearly not needed or wanted.
Why don't you let him run his sham church in the town hall as their seems to be lots of room in their and it will make it easier for him to bank his cash. Will he be using the pool for mass baptisms. Please stop stealing our amenities and giving them to a select few who shout the loudest, or are the council scared to say NO certain groups in case they are labeled racist.
A religious setting in a sports centre. Makes sense... Not. I've heard stories about CRC, they sound more like a cult that just want your money. How can they justify wanting to have a church. I worked in cineworld for a period of time and a church group, I think it was CRC but not sure, wanted to hire out a screen everyday for their preachings! Get a proper church. They take their congregations money so must be able to afford a new build church. Not have one in an empty shop leisure centre or cinema.
CRC "Church" are a registered business and a registered charity, but NOT a registered Church
The problem, the issue, is that the LeisureZone is not the right location for a church. The trustees, who lease the centre from the council, need to listen to residents, to the council and to the MP about what we all want to see in our Leisure Centre. It is not a church, and not a vets. The £40million spent on the leisure centre was not to create commercial units but provide leisure and associated facilities for the town.
We hear so much about inclusivity but when it comes to church, so many are prejudiced! I don’t know these people or what they believe, but they have as much right as anyone else to hire. Not sure what people mean by not appropriate?
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