Church is ‘a case in point’

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In response to Peter Webb (letters, November 8), I have no problem with Jubilee Church submitting a change of use application for a unit in Dominion Way, if they have a legitimate use for an empty property.

It may be true that there are lo cal businesses crying out for commercial premises, but in my experience, that does not mean that they are necessarily applying to take on new leases.

My own business currently has a number of empty units that we are struggling to fill, despite this apparent weight of companies desperate for premises.

What opportunities we have identified more often than not require a change of use, just as is the case with Jubilee Church.

To me, if the freeholder has failed to let a property under its current use for a reasonable length of time, then it is of no benefit to the community to keep that property empty, when there are other people who would take it, but for the current use classification.

Jubilee Church is a case in point.

They are a growing church of a kind that is thriving, even when others are closing, precisely because they offer something very different from traditional churches and as such, are often not located in traditional buildings.

You see churches like this in schools, community centres, sometimes even in cinemas, and very often in modern, industrial type units.

In addition, while they would seek to serve their community throughout the week, their busiest day is still likely to be Sunday, when their location on an industrial estate would have minimal impact.

Brian Steele

Director, H.D. Steele & Son Group, Shirley Drive, Hove