Croydon council has objected strongly to proposals to change the former Gala bingo hall in Church Road, Upper Norwood into a church.

The building was bought by an evangelical church, the Kingsway International Christian Centre's (KICC), in June.

The planning area falls under Bromley’s jurisdiction and the church have applied to Bromley to change the use of the building to a church with offices, a cafe and a bookshop.

Local residents are concerned they will lose their only leisure centre and celebrities including pop star Pixie Lott and mercury award winner Speeches Debelle are backing their campaign.

The council's planning committee unanimously agreed to object to Bromley council over KICC’s proposals.

The issue was debated infront of a packed public gallery at a planning meeting on October 22.

The six local councillors for the area all spoke out against the plans.

Coun Sue Bennett told the committee she was “deeply disturbed” by the lack of public consultation by the applicant.

Councillors also spoke about their concerns about the increase in traffic and parking problems the popular church would bring to the area.

The committee agreed to object on loss of leisure facilities and parking grounds and draw Bromley's attention to concerns about the traffic assessment and noise impact.