Mary Cook, assisted by Asitha Ranatunga recently received the Secretary of State's DL dismissing an appeal in which they appeared at a planning inquiry, instructed by Nigel Hewitson of Norton Rose LLP to act for the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation resisting an appeal by Kingsway International Christian Centre and the London Development Agency against the decision of the Corporation to refuse full planning permission for a phased mixed use development comprising an 8000 seat multi-use auditorium, office, multi-use building, chapel and multi-storey car park, access and landscaping at land at Beam Reach 5, Rainham. The Secretary of State recovered the appeal which concerned proposals on land designated as an Strategic Industrial Location in Havering, following relocation from Hackney to make way for the London 2012 Olympics.
The Corporation's evidence successfully demonstrated that the development would materially harm the employment objectives of the development plan, contravened PGG 13 objectives and policies seeking to locate community facilities where they are accessible to the communities they serve. The SoS accepted the need for an auditorium large enough for KICC's growing congregation to worship but considered other elements of the proposals could be disaggregated and accepted that similar benefits could be provided on other sites by creating facilities in locations more accessible to the main communities they serve and less suitable for employment. Over all the benefits did not outweigh the conflict with the development plan.