Newham

Application for mosque at Abbey Mills site rejected

5 December 2012 in Council and democracy
Plans for a mosque for over 9,000 worshippers have been turned down by Newham councillors.

The proposals – which included a new mosque, a library and a dining hall capable of holding 2,000 people – were rejected at a meeting of Newham Council’s Strategic Development Committee on Wednesday (5 December) evening at the Old Town Hall, the Broadway, Stratford. 

Just over six hectares in size, the site is located at the southern end of Canning Road, Stratford, near to the Olympic Park.

Cllr Conor McAuley, Newham Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Strategic Planning, said after the meeting: “Councillors have considered this application at length and with great care before deciding to reject it. The council undertook a rigorous and extensive consultation about the proposals in the run-up to this decision.

“Our planning policies promote the development of the Abbey Mills site for a mix of residential, employment and community uses, to help create a new local centre near West Ham station and regenerate the area. The creation of new homes and jobs are a priority for Newham Council.

“It is not considered that this application is consistent with these policies. There are also concerns about the size of the proposed buildings and impact on parking and traffic in the local area.

"Apart from the proposals being contrary to the planning policy for the site, they are also unacceptable for a number of other reasons. These are:

  • the proposed mosque building is too big and would have an impact on important historic buildings nearby
  • it will generate too much traffic resulting in people parking on local residents' streets
  • the site is heavily contaminated raising safety issues which are not properly addressed by the application
  • the application proposes keeping existing buildings on the site, which are poorly designed.
"The applicant's view that the site should only be used as a mosque was discussed at a public inquiry last year relating to the council's planning policy (the Core Strategy). The Inspector did not accept their case."