Common sense needed in West Ham Riverine Trust site: Andrew Boff

Common sense needs to prevail in the dispute over the planning application at the Abbey Mills Riverine Centre, says Andrew Boff.

Newham Council refused planning permission for the use of the site in West Ham as a mosque in December last year. The council also issued an enforcement notice on July 16 this year for the Riverine Trust to discontinue using the site as a mosque and demolish existing buildings.

In May the Trust was ordered by the High Court to quit the site. The Trust appealed and is now waiting for a hearing at the Court of Appeal.

Andrew Boff, Conservative London Assembly Member, wants Newham Council to have a meeting with the Trust to resolve the issue.

He said: “We need a meeting to allow common sense to triumph over unthinking legal action. The Riverine Centre are happy to meet, I hope that the Council are.

“If the Council’s idea of a “meeting” is a hearing for an injunction then common sense will never see the light of day.”

“The Riverine Centre aims to provide an important facility for many London residents on a derelict piece of land that is virtually unusable for practically any other purpose. Newham Council needs to engage with them and not dismiss them out of hand.”

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A Newham Council spokesperson said: “The Planning Inspectorate has called a Public Inquiry from June 3 2014 to address all the planning and enforcement issues. There is therefore simply no need for additional meetings.

“Mr Boff’s assertion that the Council is delaying the redevelopment of the Abbey Mills site is simply not true. Following 17 years of broken promises from the Trust the Council is going down a legal route to ensure that in future Abbey Mills delivers badly needed homes and jobs as well as space for our community to enjoy.”

“Mr Boff believes that a large mosque is the best we can all expect from a site larger than nine football pitches in size and beside one of the busiest stations in London. Both the Mayor of London and Newham Council want more for our community than Mr Boff seems willing to accept.”

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