(From Matthews Yard campaign website)
The threat to Matthews Yard reveals a strange case of religious entrepreneurship.
Joint applicant for the controversial plans to redevelop 5-9 Surrey St where Matthews Yard is based is the building’s owner the Folly’s End Fellowship Trust.
The Trust is linked is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Its purpose ‘is to advance the Christian faith’: ‘the worship of God, the instruction of Christians, the care and Christian instruction of young people and children, the evangelisation of non-Christians, the relief of sickness and poverty and the advancement of the Christian faith generally.’
Its activities are through Folly’s End Church and the Folly’s End Christian Preschools (Hop Skip and Jump). It licences the use of Surrey St to Croydon Conference Centre and Conference Events Ltds ‘allowing them to let out excess space… to 3rd parties.’
The Directors are Mary Melinda Wilson Fish, a Christian worker who lives in the United States; Margaret Katherine Kitchen, a social enterprise consultant; and Frank Geoffrey Stonelake (retired) of 34a Alexandra Road in Croydon.
Its Hop, Skip and Jump Pre-Schools are at the United Reform Church, Addiscombe Grove and at Christchurch, Sumner Rd. It used to run one at Home Start Croydon, 1-4 Ramsey Court, Church Street.
The Trust company has 3 loan charges with Barclays Bank including on 5- Surrey St and 9 South Park Hill Road.
Its December 2016 annual accounts state that it is linked to Ambushed, Walk Right In and Folly’s End Ltds. These three are dormant companies. The Fellowship’s Church Leaders are the Directors: David Leonard Markee of Ambushed and Folly’s End, and he and Rosina Ethel Markee, of Walk Right in Ltd. Their address is 8a Spencer Road, South Croydon.
Companies House records show that the Markees are also Directors of Croydon Conference Centre Ltd, which has two fixed and floating charges from the Croydon Enterprise Loan Fund Limited. The accounts for the year ending 31 December 2016 show that the company was in deficit of £2,322.
Both Markees have previously been Directors of Daze Ltd (dormant), and David of River of Souls Ltd and Croydon Jazz Festival CIC (both dissolved).
Both Markees are also Directors of Conference Events Ltd, at 1 Phillimore Road, Southampton, along with David Martyn Williams, whose address is given as 5-9 Surrey St. Williams holds several Directorships including Kingston Business Management Ltd, Charities Back Office Services Ltd, with its registered office at 5-9 Surrey St. He has previously been a Director of Croydon Conference Centre Ltd.
Ironically he is a Director of Community Organisers Ltd (CoLtd) the membership body for Community Organisers across England and the home of the National Community Organising Academy.
It says that it is ‘committed to ensuring that residents can act together to transform their communities for good’. It objects are laudable seeking to build a more active and democratic society where all people feel and are able to participate in the world around them; to provide training courses and programmes that enable the study of the practice, theory, and techniques of community organising; to work with people to build their collective power to tackle poverty and injustice; and to promote and advocate for a more just society where people are able to challenge constructively for change.
It says it believes in listening and putting the common agenda of people first, seeking to create the conditions for making change possible and encouraging individuals to take responsibility and ownership for creating the change that they want.
It is committed to supporting people in the belief that they have the ability and potential to create change and transform their community for the common good.
It promotes collaboration through building strong relationships and powerful networks, that value individuals, people can achieve lasting social change.
It wants to unleash the potential of every human being in community and to achieve equality of autonomy where every person should have the right to decide and control their life situation.
So you would have hoped that with Williams involvement in the conplex Folly’s End entreprenurial network, that 5-9 Surrey St would have been redeveloped to ensure that the local community’s views about the future of the building/site would be paramount.
Matthews Yard requests objections to plans for 5-9 Surrey St
Following wide support within Croydon Matthews Yard won Asset of Community Value listing . It now wants its supporters to object to the planning application submitted by Regent Land and Development Ltd and the Folly’s End Fellowship Trust.
Matthews Yard suggests you look particularly at:
- Loss of light or overshadowing
This is particularly applicable to local residents of The Exchange and Bridge House and to traders on Surrey Street
- Overlooking/loss of privacy
This is particularly applicable to residents of Bridge House and The Exchange.
- Traffic generation
Residents will have cars and need to load and unload vehicles. Delivery vehicles for residents and existing retailers already cause significant problems and bottlenecks on the High Street and Scarbrook Road.
- Noise and disturbance resulting from use
There are proposals for a Live Music Venue in the basement of the building which will be operated by an organisation which generated numerous noise complaints to the council when they operated at Matthews Yard in the past.
- Effect on listed building and conservation area
The proposed development is in a conservation area and proposals will create undue volumes of disruption to recently refurbished Surrey Street Market and surrounds.
- Asset of Community Value status of 1 Matthews Yard
The basement of the building has been designated an Asset of Community Value by Croydon Council. Demolition plans would involve the total loss of this vital community asset for two years and developers have so far refused to engage in dialogue with Save Matthews Yard Limited.
For more detail from Matthews Yard see
The 98 planning application documents are available here: