High Court orders Islamic trust to quit West Ham mosque site

PUBLISHED: 11:15 25 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:57 25 May 2013

The Riverine Centre mosque site, currently used by around 3.000 worshippers

The Riverine Centre mosque site, currently used by around 3.000 worshippers


Islamic worshippers have been ordered to quit the site of a former chemical works in West Ham used as mosque after a High Court decision.

Newham Council has been granted an injunction ordering the Anjuman-E-Islahul-Mislimeen Trust, which uses old industrial buildings on the Riverine Centre site, to clear the land despite pleas from the group’s legal representative, Anne Williams, that this injunction will cause “untold harm” and “destroy a vibrant religious community”.

But the council has offered to work with the Muslim movement’s trustees to find an alternative temporary site for the 3,000 worshippers currently using the site.

The council’s barrister, Douglas Edwards QC, told the High Court on Wednesday that the Anjuman-E-Islahul-Mislimeen Trust had repeatedly breached planning controls at the site, also known as the Abbey Mills Mosque.

Mr Edwards said the site, close to West Ham railway station, had endured “a long process of unauthorised development” since the trust bought the land in 1996.

The trust previously successfully appealed an enforcement notice and was granted two years to bring forward a planning application in line with the council’s planning policy.

A planning application was refused on the grounds that it failed to provide a mixed use development.

Judge Richard Seymour granted an injunction requiring all buildings and fixtures used for worship to be removed.

Ms Williams had argued the injunction would not be “just and equitable”.

A time table for when the site has to be vacated is to be announced.

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