Council orders Trust to quit West Ham mosque site within a month

The Abbey Mills site in West Ham.

The Abbey Mills site in West Ham. - Credit: Archant

Newham Council has ordered the Abbey Mills Riverine Trust to quit using a West Ham site as a mosque within a month or face enforcement action.

Around 3,000 Muslims currently worship on the site - estimated to be the size of nine international-sized football pitches - at the end of Canning Town Road but the Council served an enforcement notice on the Trust on Tuesday (July 16).

It now has 28 days to either remove buildings without planning permission from the area; stop using it as the Abbey Mills Mosque and make the polluted grounds safe for use; or appeal the notice.

In May, the High Court ordered the Trust to clear the site but instead the Trustees have applied to a judge to appeal the decision.

The Recorder has made repeated attempts to contact the Riverine Trust for comment but they have failed to respond.

Cllr Clive Furness, executive member for health and adult commissioning, said: “We have been clear from the start regarding our vision for the Abbey Mills site, that it must become a mixed-use development bringing thousands of much needed new homes and hundreds of jobs to our community.

“The Trust has always been aware of that vision and subsequent policies we have adopted.

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“However, the Trust has failed to develop the site or bring forward an acceptable plan for major redevelopment.

“After 17 years of breaking promises, it is clear that the Riverine Trust has no intention of honouring their latest promise, upheld by the High Court, to clear illegal buildings from the site, stop using the site as a mosque and make the ground safe.”

The Riverine Trust has since submitted new proposals to the Council for planning application for a mixed-use development.

Details are confidential in the initial stages but an independent report produced for the planning committee last December suggested the site could reasonably accommodate about 1,100 homes and around 15,000sqm of employment or community space with the potential to generate 650 to 900 jobs.