Save our Pentecostal City Mission Church, Community Nursery and Food Bank from eviction

Save our Pentecostal City Mission Church, Community Nursery and Food Bank from eviction

Started
2 April 2022
Signatures: 473Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Leah Gray

The Pentecostal City Mission Church (PCMC), a long-time occupier of 2 Scrubs Lane, Willesden has been evicted by developers Fruition Properties.

The PCMC is a registered community asset and operates a Nursery, Food Bank, Dementia Care, and other local community services which leaves this vital community lifeline in jeopardy.

On Wednesday 23rd March, Fruition Properties entered the building at 7.30am and evicted the church from the premises, and changed the locks, leaving parents unable to drop off their children at the nursery and the staff unable to retrieve personal belongings.                                        

The mayor’s Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), local  Labour MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter, the GLA’s Culture at Risk team and other community groups have been campaigning to save the church and the services it provides to one of London’s most disadvantaged communities.

Fruition Properties, the developers who are looking to redevelop the site, sought planning permission in 2018. Critical to that permission was that Fruition Properties secured a replacement space for the PCMC and associated community services as part of the new development. The OPDC, as the local planning authority has always been very clear that its planning policy requires the re-provision of community floor space for the PCMC within any future scheme on the site.

Reverend Desmond Hall of PCMC said ‘We are shocked and saddened that Fruition Properties took possession of this beloved church and vital lifeline for so many community members. As well as a valued place of worship, many families and young children rely on us for support services and food donations. During busy times, we can cater to up to a 1,000 people across one day. What will they do now that Fruition Properties have changed the locks? We won’t give up hope and with the support of the community, we’ll continue to fight for PCMC’.

David Lints CEO of OPDC said ‘It is shocking that Fruition Properties have evicted the church. It’s hard to believe that with so much local need for services such as this, especially at a time of increasing hardship, and developer could act with such heartlessness. It’s all the more outrageous as our planning policy makes quite clear the space for the church and its community facilities must be part of any development. I have attempted to engage with Fruition Properties to seek an amicable resolution with the church, but they have refused to meet.'

Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith said ‘It’s unacceptable and quite frankly unbelievable news to hear that a developer has evicted a church, Nursery and Food Bank at a time where so many families are under financial strain to put food on the table. I have made my position to Fruition Properties abundantly clear on numerous occasions and they have refused to meet to reach a solution, despite the planning policy clearly provision for the church.'

Background information: Fruition Properties owners of 2 Scrubs Lane were granted planning permission in June 2018 to redevelop the site. Critical to that, the permission was that Fruition Properties secured replacement space for the PCMC, associated Food Bank and Nursery as part of the new development. OPDC has created planning policies to support the church and other existing community assets including:

 •policy TCC3 of the draft local plan (2021) requires existing social infrastructure facilities to be protected, unless it’s clearly demonstrated that it is no longer required, or that the facility would be appropriately replaced or provided elsewhere in the locality.

•place policy P10C1 Harrow Road cluster which specifically requires development to re-provide the floor space of a church use and associated community use at 2 Scrubs Lane on the side including new fitted outbuilding space at the community use rent levels.

OPDC has always been very clear that the re-provision of the community floor space for the church is essential within and future schemes on the site. In November 2021 Fruition Properties expressed its intention to evict the church. OPDC’s chief executive, Andy Slaughter MP, and the church attempted to engage Fruition Properties to ensure the valuable community services provided could be safeguarded. Fruition Properties refused to meet. The church subsequently instructed legal support and a court date was agreed for June 2022 to challenge Fruition Properties’ position.

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Signatures: 473Next Goal: 500
Support now