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

Archant

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.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Contestants, grandparents and viewers in tears as X Factor gets #TotesEmosh.

Read more

It’s not just your wardrobe you need to change up when autumn hits. Your make-up routine needs updating too.

Read more

X Factor boss Simon Cowell cringes with embarrassment after his shirt bursts apart, accidentally flashing his chest.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 19:33
Around 40,000 people marched past the Houses of Parliament demanding action on climate change [Photograph by Laura Lean/PA Wire]

Tens of thousands of people marched through London on Sunday - and cities across the world - to demand urgent action on climate change, ahead of a UN climate summit.

Saturday, September 20, 2014
People have been out in force tying yellow ribbons to lamp posts to urge people to keep looking for Alice Gross (Picture by Carlene Bender)

The Metropolitan Police Service have said the hunt for missing schoolgirl Alice Gross is the biggest search they have mounted since the 7/7 terror attacks.

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Staff at the Hackney Empire took this photograph of the flash floods.

Londoners experienced rush hour chaos on Friday night caused by unexpected storms.

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Quizzes

(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more