Greenwich councillors have approved plans to turn the old Horse and Groom pub on Woolwich Road into a church, despite opposition from neighbours.
The proposal by the Chreubim and Seraphim Movement Church was backed by five votes to one by a panel of six councillors on Wednesday with only local representative John Fahy (Labour, Woolwich Riverside) opposing the scheme.
Council planning officers said they approved the scheme “on balance”, subject to conditions including noise mitigation measures and restricting its opening hours to 6pm to 8pm on weeknights and 9am to noon at weekends.
The church had operated for a while without planning permission, and one local resident who addressed the Woolwich and Thamesmead planning committee said traffic in the area was “gridlocked” whenever it was open. But the church claimed over 95% of its congregation did not drive to services.
Local residents had signed a petition against the plans, and Cllr Fahy said the local area was “entirely different from other parts of the borough” because of the large number of people driving to football matches at The Valley.
“This application will simply add to the problems people experience,” he said.
As well as the change of use from a pub to a place of worship, the church also got permission to install six CCTV cameras, security grilles on the windows and a toilet extension.