Search

South Woodford mosque imam - Councillors are “playing politics” over planning application

07:00 03 July 2014

Dr Mohammed Fahim, South Woodford Mosque in Mulberry Way

Dr Mohammed Fahim, South Woodford Mosque in Mulberry Way

Archant

The imam at South Woodford Mosque has accused councillors of worrying about votes after their decision to reject redevelopment plans for the second time in seven months this week.

Images of South Woodford Mosque which were handed to Redbridge Council Images of South Woodford Mosque which were handed to Redbridge Council

Dr Mohammed Fahim added the Qu’rani Murkaz Trust, which runs the community centre, would appeal the Redbridge Council planning committee’s decision through the planning inspectorate.

Four out of six councillors sitting on the Redbridge Council planning committee rejected the latest plans on Tuesday at Sir James Hawkey Hall in Broomfield Road, Woodford Green.

Two police officers were asked to attend the meeting in light of previous tensions between groups of residents and representatives of the South Woodford mosque.

Speaking to the Recorder, Dr Fahim, who had addressed the meeting, dismissed the committee’s decision and said it is the “planning officers who decide” on applications.

Cllr Gwyneth DeakinsCllr Gwyneth Deakins

He said: “The councillors are not trained planners – they are lay persons like myself or you.

“We will appeal the decision it is as simple as that. The planning inspectorate has nothing to do with politics, councillors are worried about votes.”

Cllr Gwyneth Deakins, a planning committee member, believed the “public would lose confidence” in planning decisions if politicians were not a part of the process.

She said: “It is extremely important that the public are locally represented and have an input in planning decisions otherwise they would lose confidence in the planning system.

“If Dr Fahim is suggesting these planning decisions should be made behind closed doors then I profoundly disagree.”

Grace Symonds, of Mulberry Way, expressed her and other residents’ delight at the planning committee’s decision.

She said: “Speaking for the residents as a whole we are delighted. It clearly shows that the councillors are listening to their constituents.

“We are grateful that they could see through the hype.”

However, Miss Symonds admitted she expected the QM Trust to appeal the decision.

“The reality is we will be hearing from them again in six months,” she added.

Conservative councillor Robin Turbefield voted against the plans citing a failure to reduce the building’s height – an issue which caused one resident to suggest the new design was “in your face”.

Cllr Turbefield said: “They have only taken a little bit off the height and the massing – it is a big, big building.

“I think that building is far too big for that environment. It is a building that is that one bit too big.”

Read more:

Redbridge Council rejects South Woodford mosque plan

South Woodford Mosque resubmits controversial redevelopment plans to Redbridge Council

Latest News Stories

Ilford Lane in 2013 after Mariana Popa, a Romanian prostitute, was stabbed.

A councillor has criticised the police’s approach to tackling prostitution, after the recent discovery of another brothel in Goodmayes.

Yesterday, 15:00
Author Alan Simpson

Like the calm before the storm, the day was still and uneventful.

Yesterday, 12:00
Head of Redbridge Drama Centre Keith Homer

A Redbridge Drama Centre (RDC) play with almost no spoken words has been wowing international audiences in Belgium.

Yesterday, 09:00
Randy and Stephanie Masoner are set to release a book on their love story.

A Chippendale and an “Essex girl” are set to share their whirlwind love story in their debut book.

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder