Scientology targets city

The Church of Scientology is planning to increase its foothold in Sussex, The Argus can reveal.

Graeme Wilson, the director of public affairs, said the organisation was looking at the local property market and it is thought any new premises could provide a headquarters for members in Brighton and Hove.

Mr Wilson said: “The Church of Scientology internationally is very much expanding and to accommodate that expansion, new premises are being acquired for our existing churches worldwide.

“There is nothing concrete planned in the Brighton area currently, though we keep ourselves abreast of what is on the market that might be suitable.”

The controversial organisation, which is not recognised as a religion under British law, paid £3.6 million in October last year for a disused distillery in Manchester and in 2006 opened its £23 million London headquarters in Queen Victoria Street. Its main British base is in East Grinstead.

Brighton Pavilion MP David Lepper said he had dealt with complaints from people about the way Scientology members approached people in the street.