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Newham council officers recommend socalled West Ham mega mosque is rejected

10:06 28 November 2012

The Riverine Centre site

The Riverine Centre site

Archant

Newham council officers have recommended that councillors reject controversial plans for a socalled mega mosque in West Ham.

The plans to erect the Riverine Centre, also known as Abbey Mills Mosque put forward by trustees following the Tabilighi Jamaat movement, are due to be heard by the Strategic Development Committee at Newham Council on Wednesday (December 5) of next week.

At 29,227 square metres the complex is more than three times the floorspace of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The development includes a segregated space for nearly 2,000 women, a library, dining hall, visitors’ centre, eight flats for imams and guests, along with tennis courts, a garden, and a riverside walk along Abbey Creek.

The former industrial land at the end of Canning Road is one of 10 sites listed for strategic development by Newham Council. Officers are arguing that the mosque plans are not in line with the council’s core strategy to create a new town centre for mixed use around West Ham Station.

The strategy states that any faith must not dominate the use or scale of the 6.3 hectare site overlooking the historic Abbey Mills pumping station and Canary Wharf.

The strategy also states that the site should provide a mix of residential and retail uses.

Previous plans for a mosque on the site included retail units but mosque trustees said these were dropped following consultation with the Muslim community.

About 3,000 worshippers a week currently use facilities at the site.

About 264 parking spaces would be provided compared with the 300 current parking spaces.

The meeting will be held at the Main Hall at the Old Town Hall in Stratford.

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