Permission refused to turn former Rainham Barclays into mosque

The Barclays bank in Rainham Village is also set to close in May.

An application to turn the former Barclays bank in Rainham Village into a mosque has been rejected. - Credit: Google

The conversion of a former Barclays to become a mosque in Rainham has been refused.

The former bank in Upminster Road South forms part of a parade of commercial units and the building is a modern two storey property on a main road. 

Havering Council refused planning permission on the grounds it would a create an influx of vehicles and people, the noise pollution would be too much and that it wouldn't have adequate parking.

The decision report said that the mosque would result in "significant increase in vehicle movements both on and off the site itself and around the vicinity of the site to the detriment of highway safety."

It added that it would "result in unacceptable levels of noise and general disturbance" and that "by reason of the inadequate on site car parking provision for proposed facilities, it would result in unacceptable overspill onto the neighbouring roads to the detriment of the free flow of traffic and thereby harmful to highway safety".

On a daily basis, the mosque would expect to have from 10 to 50 people at the site for activities such as workshops, youth activities, social work and venue hire. On Fridays, it would have expected to receive from 120 to 300 worshippers. 

The potential new mosque was intended to take the pressure off Rainham Village Library, where they say attendees are increasing as well as The Royal Centre.

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The decision document added that it wasn't clear whether all existing worshippers at the two locations highlighted would be relocated to the proposed premises.

Councillor for Rainham Jeffrey Tucker: said: "It's a council's duty to listen to residents' view during lockdown, they didn't think it would be ideal.

"The main reasons being inadequate parking. We know they [the mosque] have lots of members and we feel it wouldn't be safe for other residents as it's a one single lane. Arguably it would force people into the road. We hope they find an adequate place and we wish them best of luck."

The application was publicised by the direct notification of adjoining properties (24 neighbours consulted).

A total of 374 objections to the proposal were received and six letters in support.