July 22 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
A public inquiry into Newham Council’s rejection of plans for a mega-mosque in West Ham will open at the ExCeL exhibition centre.
The inquiry into the controversial mega-mosque at the Abbey Mills site is expected to last three weeks and is due to start on June 3. It will give Communities Secretary Eric Pickles the final say on plans by Anjuman-E-Islahul-Muslimeen Trust to develop what has been described as a mega-mosque at the Abbey Mills Riverine Centre, situated at the end of Canning Road.
Newham councillors voted unanimously to reject plans for a 9,000 capacity building for Muslim worshippers in December 2012. The Riverine Trust appealed against the decision which will now be examined in the public inquiry of the Planning Inspectorate.
A recommendation by the Planning Inspectorate will be followed by a decision by Mr Pickles.
Representatives from the Trust, which has owned the site since 1996 and is regularly used by about 3.000 worshippers, will argue that their appeal should be upheld.
Representatives for Newham Council and Alan Craig, director of MegaMosqueNoThanks.com campaign will also be appearing at the inquiry.
Newham Council also went to the Court of Appeal to stop the Trustees using the site without planning permission. Although the Trustees asked the court to set aside the injunction, the court decided the Trust can stay on the site until a decision is made on the planning application.