Mosque plans rejected

Plans for a huge mosque in West Ham have been rejected by Newham council. The proposed nine-thousand capacity venue would have been three times the size of St Paul's cathedral.

In pictures: rejected 'mega mosque'

The planned mosque would have been three times bigger than St Paul's Cathedral Credit: Mangera Yvars Architects
Newham Council said the proposed building was too large, would generate too much traffic and was poor in its planning and design Credit: Mangera Yvars Architects
Located near the Olympic Park, the mosque would have accommodated 7,500 male and almost 2,000 female worshippers Credit: Mangera Yvars Architects

'Mega-Mosque' plans rejected

A missionary Islamic sect has been denied permission to build a controversial mega-mosque in London.

The Tablighi Jamaat group saw its plan to build the 9,000-capacity venue in West Ham, east London, rejected by members of Newham Borough Council at a planning meeting.

If permission had been granted, Abbey Mills Mosque - also known as the Riverine Centre - would have become one of the biggest Islamic centres in Britain and western Europe.

Tablighi Jamaat currently uses part of the six-hectares Abbey Mills site to house the London Markaz, also referred to as Masjid-e-Ilyas, a temporary hub which can host up to 2,500 people.

But councillors heeded recommendations from the council's officers to reject expansion on the former industrial land, amid strong opposition and concern about the project.

Following tonight's meeting, Conor McAuley, Newham Council's executive member for regeneration and strategic planning, said: "The proposed mosque building is too big and would have an impact on important historic buildings nearby."

He said councillors had considered the application "at length and with great care" before rejecting it."The council undertook a rigorous and extensive consultation about the proposals in the run-up to this decision," he added.

"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."

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