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Newham “mega mosque” plans rejected by councillors

Supporters of the Supporters of the "mega mosque" gathered outside Stratford Old Town Hall earlier.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
8:38 PM

Plans for a “mega mosque” in Newham have been turned down by councillors.

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An artist's impression of the proposed plans for the Riverine Centre mosque complexAn artist's impression of the proposed plans for the Riverine Centre mosque complex

Thousands of supporters of the mosque had gathered outside Stratford Old Town Hall ahead of the meeting of Newham Council's Strategic Development Committee this evening.

A small counter protest against the mosque had also gathered.

The plans to erect the Riverine Centre, also known as Abbey Mills Mosque, were put forward by trustees following the Tabilighi Jamaat movement.

Councillors voted unanimously to turn the plans down, siding with the recommendations of council officers who said the plans should be rejected.

At 29,227sq m the proposed complex was more than three times the floorspace of St Paul's Cathedral.

The rejected development included a segregated space for nearly 2,000 women, a library, dining hall, visitors' centre, eight flats for imams and guests, along with tennis courts, a garden, and a riverside walk along Abbey Creek.

The mosque was planned for former industrial land at the end of Canning Road, which is one of 10 sites listed for strategic development by Newham Council. Officers argued that the mosque plans were not in line with the council's core strategy to create a new town centre for mixed use around West Ham Station.

The strategy states that any faith must not dominate the use or scale of the 6.3 hectare site overlooking the historic Abbey Mills pumping station and Canary Wharf.

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