Havering Council blocks Rainham mosque plans for second time
PUBLISHED: 16:58 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:38 29 July 2020
Plans for a mosque in Rainham have been turned down for a second time by Havering Council.
An application for a place of worship in New Road was submitted earlier this year after the council rejected a similar proposal in 2019.
The latest plans, put forward by agent Cityscape on behalf of the applicant, would have seen a single-storey mosque built with associated car parking.
As part of its supporting statement, Cityscape said a number of changes had been made to address reasons for refusal of the first application.
These included reducing the size of the facility, lowering the visitor capacity and adding cycle spaces.
Opening hours were also changed to 8am to 10pm seven days a week, revised from 6am to 11.30pm in the previous application.
But council planning officers refused permission for the latest plans and said the proposed use would cause “unacceptable character change”.
A report said: “It is considered that the increased levels of noise and disturbance associated with the scale of activity and the hours of usage sought, particularly for occupiers in close proximity to the site, would be unacceptable.”
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It also mentioned the proposal “exacerbates” parking issues in the area, adding: “The proposed use would, by reason of the inadequate on site car parking provision, lead to overspill in surrounding roads where there is existing parking stress.”
The council received 67 letters of support for the plans but 46 objections were made.
Win Dostal, 80, a resident in nearby Hubert Road, said the mosque would have caused a “big problem” and that the nearby parking is very busy.
Cllr Michael Deon Burton, ward councillor for South Hornchurch where the application site is located, added: “Havering is an inclusive borough with a diverse population.
“However this decision reflects the want of so many who have contacted myself saying they have made their home in the quiet surrounding roads and feared a mosque in this inappropriate location would add to the parking problems.”
A Cityscape spokesperson said: “The proposal was for a small community centre that would be open to and serve all members of the community.
“As part of the submission, we did include a transport statement that showed there would be in general no more than 10 – 15 people visiting the site throughout the day.
“The statement concluded that this small number of attendees would in turn have very minimal impact upon parking.”
The statement did reveal that while this number was representative for most of the week, up to 75 people could attend on Friday lunchtimes.
Cityscape added: “Whilst we are of course disappointed that the application was refused, we are now considering our options on how to best move forward.”
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