Church in empty-office on Ballards Road, Dagenham, told it can stay

Ballards Road floor plans

Ballards Road floor plans - Credit: Archant

An application to change part of an empty office block into a place of worship has been approved.

The plans include a separate section for children

The plans include a separate section for children - Credit: Archant

The first floor of the two-storey building on the corner of Ballards Road and New Road, Dagenham, has been used by a congregation of Christian worshippers since January 2012 and has received no complaints in that time.

New place of worship now operating

New place of worship now operating - Credit: Archant

Members of the Development Control Board unanimously agreed the change on March 10.

New place of worship now operating

New place of worship now operating - Credit: Archant

When Cllr Rocky Gill asked why the application had come forward so late he was told it had arisen only after a planning enforcement officer saw some advertising for a make-shift church during another site visit.

It was understood by the board that there would be a maximum of 50 congregation members on Fridays and Sundays, with about 15 people attending Bible schools and “low volume” prayer sessions during the week.

One Friday a month worshippers were said to hold a vigil until 3am.