Abbey Mills Riverine Centre Planning Inquiry Statement

29 October 2015 in Council and democracy and Regeneration
Newham Council welcomes today’s decisions by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark to uphold a decision by Newham Council’s Strategic Development Committee in December 2012 to refuse planning permission for redevelopment of the Abbey Mills Riverine Centre site. He has also refused temporary planning permission for the continued use of the site and upheld the Council’s enforcement notice.

​Secretary of State has directed:

  • Outline planning permission for the Abbey Mills Riverine Centre is refused
  • Temporary planning permission for the continued use of the site is refused
  • Enforcement Notice upheld, with compliance period extended from one month to three months

The application for a large mosque on the former chemical site in West Ham is contrary to the identified needs of the area. Independent experts have said that the land, which is larger than six international rugby pitches, would be able to accommodate over 1,100 homes, 15,000sqm of retail, office and community space and generate a significant number jobs.

Previous agreements between the Council and the trustees of Anjuman-e-Islahul-Muslimeen of London had made it clear that any application brought forward must include a mix of uses  as well as community facilities, which could include religious space. The Trust chose to ignore this contractual agreement when they submitted their planning application in 2012 for a 9,000 capacity mosque and other facilities. This application not only failed to meet guidelines for development set out by Newham Council, they also failed to meet eight out of nine planning criteria set out in the Mayor of London’s London Plan.

In light of today’s decision the council will continue to work to secure development of the site which will ensure its future use for the whole community in accordance with established planning policy.

The Trust now has three months to cease the use of the site as a place of worship and clear the site they have been unlawfully using for two decades. 

Councillor Ken Clark, Cabinet Member for Building Communities, Public Affairs, Regeneration and Planning, said: “Newham Council has tried to work with the Trust for more than a decade to create a plan that would benefit all residents by providing much needed jobs, homes and community space. But repeatedly the Trust has broken its promises and delayed the inevitable. It is now time that this site is made thoroughly safe and developed appropriately so that it can provide vital facilities for the whole community of Newham.”