West Ham “mega mosque” group win planning battle over temporary site

15:53 23 May 2011

An artists impression of the so-called "mega mosque" Tablighi Jamaat propose to build in West Ham

An artists impression of the so-called "mega mosque" Tablighi Jamaat propose to build in West Ham


An Islamic group planning a so-called “mega mosque” in West Ham have won a challenge to keep their current base open.

Leaders of Tablighi Jamaat were bidding to overturn an enforcement notice served on their Riverine Centre in Canning Road by Newham Council in February 2010.

The council wanted to see the temporary facility — which consists of pre-fabricated and demountable buildings — shut down amid fears over traffic levels, land contamination and visual impact.

Temporary planning permission was granted in 2001, but expired in 2006, since when the group have continued to use the site.

At a public inquiry at Newham Town Hall, East Ham, held earlier this year, the group argued they should be granted a two-year extension.

And in a decision notice published today, planning inspector Graham Dudley granted their request — despite admitting harm would be caused to the area and that there was a history of non-compliance with planning guidelines.

He said the “substantial need” for religious facilities and the scarcity of land and finances for new community buildings outweighed the negative factors.

Any further extension would be conditional on Tablighi Jamaat preparing a masterplan for the 9,000-capacity Abbey Mills Mosque, which is planned for the same site, he added. A planning application is expected to be submitted later this year.

Mr Dudley imposed a series of conditions on the planning grant, including requirements for an “ecological buffer zone” to safeguard the nearby environment, a travel plan and structural repairs, as well as improving access for the disabled.

He did not rule on claims made at the inquiry by Newham Concern, a group opposed to the mosque and headed by Christian People’s Alliance politician and former Newham Council opposition leader Alan Craig.

During the inquiry their barrister, John Pugh-Smith, accused Tablighi Jamaat of being an “Islamic sect that preaches separation and segregation”, but the group has always insisted it is peaceful and non-political.
In a statement, the trustees of the Riverine Centre said: “This is a very positive and constructive move. It enables us to continue to worship while we prepare plans for a permanent scheme on our site.”

“We are working with the planning authorities to create a mixed use scheme that meets both the needs of our community and the planning requirements of the statutory authorities.”

A Newham Council spokesman said: “The current situation cannot continue and in our view his judgement makes this clear.

“We believe the government’s inspector has acknowledged our concerns by imposing stringent conditions on the trust.

“We will continue to take robust and fair enforcement action on this and any other non-compliance issues across the borough.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest London politics news

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Oxford Street has been called the most polluted street in Britain (Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Five major candidates for Mayor of London, including Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith and Sian Berry, have said they would close Oxford Street to traffic.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his first keynote speech on day three of the Labour Party annual conference. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn is due to speak at a protest against postal cuts in Manchester today, as his rival party meets in the city for its conference.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Police ushered the Mayor into the conference as protesters heckled and jeered (Photo: Mark McGowan/YouTube)

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was pelted with plastic balls as he arrived at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today.

Friday, October 2, 2015
Zac Goldsmith will face Sadiq Khan in the battle for London in May 2016 (Picture: PA Images)

Environmentalist Richmond Park MP and Tory girls’ dreamboy Zac Goldsmith has been picked as the Conservative Party’s candidate for London Mayor, winning the contest with 70% of the vote. Here London24 brings you some of the funniest Twitter reactions to his selection.

Monday, September 28, 2015
View from Commercial Street of how Bishopsgate goodsyard development will look

A battle for the heart of east London has now switched to City Hall in a manoeuvre to get Boris Johnson to push through the controversial Bishopsgate goodsyard development before he steps down as Mayor of London next May.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Ed Palmer, 28, is part of a group trying to spread the message on social media that many 'junior doctors' are adults a way into their career (Picture: Whittington Whatsapp Group)

We spoke to some of London’s junior doctors - essentially any medic who isn’t a consultant - to find out how people are reacting inside the NHS to the government’s plan to make doctors ‘work longer hours for less money’.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Line-Up Events


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more
You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Read more

Latest Tech News