Southwell Road is known for its tight-knit, mixed community, it is an interesting and dynamic street in Loughborough Junction. The sense of identity and community among locals remains strong. Into this tranquil street, a Evangelical church has opened in place of the old printers with no apparent concern for the neighbours and possibly with out any consultation with the local council.
Since the church started operating, there has been a flood of complaints from residents. First, it was the antisocial hours or meetings which continued late into the night to around 2am, and when a local resident approached them to quiet down he was rebuffed with aggression. Then there is the noise from the Sunday service, which lasted for over 2 hours. Then there were the problems with traffic and parking, and then finally the noises people make leaving the church.
Above all though, were the church organisers granted the change of use by the local council from a commercial space to a place of worship? If not, the Planning Department at Lambeth can restrict the use – (We are aware that they have been contacted). If a change of use is applied for, then the local residents have the opportunity to object.
The local residents whilst they have no objection to Evangelist churches are opposed to this church in such a residential and inappropriate street. Cars are parked across the pavements and noise emanates late into the night throughout the week and on Sundays, this is not a recipe for community cohesion.
Neighbours have contacted the Council to see if change of use was properly applied for and granted; many suspect it was not. With all best intentions we are hopeful that this can be resolved legally and amicably for the benefit of Southwell road.