Monday, 3 December 2012

Mosque Plannning Application REJECTED

BREAKING NEWS: Councillors have tonight UNAMINOUSLY REJECTED the planning application to create a mosque in Worcester Park. 

The rejection follows  fierce opposition to the proposal, with hundreds of local residents objecting to what they claim will be unacceptable traffic and disruption from the development in the former Bank Chambers premises next to the 'Kingfish' fish and chip shop on the corner of Green Lane and Central Road. 

A packed public meeting of the Development Control Committee heard arguments for and against the development. 

Local residents opposed to the mosque cheered as the application was rejected.

46 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Avril Clark said...

Sense ruled! Nothing wrong with a mosque in the right place with plenty of access and parking! Not in Green Lane. Good news :)

Jon Doe said...

Brilliant news! Councillors with a bit of nous....

Toundjel said...

Common sense prevails!

Jane Doe said...

Fantastic news! Why should the local population accept something that isn't wanted?

Catriona said...

Great news! For once a common sense decision as it's just not viable to have a Mosque in Green Lane or anywhere in that area.

Tweetz said...

I guess this means that the Bank Chambers should never be used for anything, as any type of business there would increase traffic. Just another derelict building in Worcester Park. Fabulous.

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

Thanks must go to the many people who worked so hard for this result. Well Done, a victory for Worcester Park and common sense.

mabel said...

Fantastic news, well done Worcester Park residents.

parkerilla said...

I felt really sorry for that Muslim guy who came on to speak, he was completely out of his depth.

Mr Happy of KT4 said...

Mr. Blogger, it wasn't just that it was rejected that provoked a cheer, it was the fact that there was a unanimous cross-party stand by ALL Councillors on the committee AGAINST the application.

Special thanks to Arthur Hookway for his presentation from Worcester Park Residents Association and highlighting that such a small proportion of those who wrote to support the application actually live here! ....Unlike the local thousands who objected and would !

No doubt this will go to appeal, so it's up to KT4 residents to do what they can when the time comes. Joining the Worcester Park Residents Association costs £2 per year and on the basis of what I saw tonight, I'd say it is £2 very well spent!

keithyuk said...

great news well done to everyone involved

Sarah said...

Oh thank god. A mosque in the right place, fine. A mosque on Green Lane, lunacy. Green Lane doesnt cope with its existing burdens let alone add to it. After all the damage that has been done to Green over the years (including the flood defences which were needed but the execution of which has been extremely poor and unnecessarily scarring on what was a beautiful road), it is a relief that we have at least won one battle to prevent unnecessarily adding to the burden

Sarah said...

It would be fine as an office building. It worked fine when it was an actual Bank Chambers and it worked fine when it was a solicitors. I miss when it was the Bank Chambers above and the Green Grocers and Claires sweetshop below

parkerilla said...

I agree, the WPRC chairman gave an impressive performance this evening, many thanks to him.

Hettie said...

Are you honestly suggesting that to keep a building occupied that permission be given whatever the use and hang the consequences to any local residents regarding heavy traffic and inadequate parking? The building needs to be fit for purpose and in this instance it clearly isn't. Thank goodness common sense prevailed and the voices of local people were both listened to and acted on by those elected to represent them.

Green Lane Lives Again said...

And Tweetz, are you seriously suggesting that the applicant who (all along) wanted to put a mosque there, went out of his way to find an alternative commercial tenant, who by taking on the lease, would stop the mosque application in its tracks? I kind of doubt it!

Surely it would be rather naive to believe the planning applicant desperately tried to attract another commercial tenant, and thereby avoid putting forward his own application for a mosque?

Green Lane Lives On said...

Well, now there won't be a mosque there, perhaps the failed planning applicant will make room for something commercial, with a lease at a competitive, commercial price?

Hettie said...

I really don't understand what your point to me is. I have never believed that the applicant had at any time any motive other than to open a mosque in Bank Chambers or that he ever wished to find an alternative tenant. Where in my post today or any of my previous posts have I ever suggested that? My belief is and always has been that the applicant wanted to open a mosque and was prepared to go to any lengths to do so even if this meant being dishonest about his intent and what I found the most appalling, attempting to make this about racial intolerance when for me and I know many others it has always been about traffic congestion and parking. If caring about the community I live in and being prepared to do something to help protect it makes me naive....so be it.

Green Lane Lives Again said...

My point was actually directed to Tweetz, who seems to think the applicant tried every other alternative, before putting forward the planning application for the mosque that they always wanted, as far back as 2009. I put it below your response because yours led onto mine better than vice versa.

bazza said...

Now that common sense has prevailed re the Mosque application,could Sutton council investigate what is going on at Gleeson House on London Road?I have contacted them regarding the building and as yet had no response.Does anyone know what the situation is re this premises?

Dave said...

It has been very gratifying to see a large part of the local community joining in common cause to deal with such a universally unwanted intrusion.
The Planning Officers, who must have spent many hours working on it, and the Councillors, deserve our thanks.

We will now be well prepared for the next application for planning permission for a mosque somewhere in Worcester Park. I assume all the submissions made (about 875) will be kept on file and be available for reference, if need be. Let's hope any prospective applicant will realise they will be wasting their time and money.

Little Smiff said...

OK. Great news that the mosque has been rejected but traffic delays are still intolerable between Cheam and New Malden. Can the community now pull together with the same unity and try to force LBS, RBK and TFL to sort out the existing mess? Never mind beautifying WP let's get the traffic flowing. A bit of redesigning of junction layouts and rephasing of traffic signals will make a great difference. As an RBK resident I have been totally disenfranchised in the decision making process regarding the mosque but surely I must be able to direct my views on traffic management to someone?

Stuck in Green Lane traffic said...

The several last posters seem to conclude "that's that - no mosque - end of story"

I would like to remind everyone that the applicant still has a lease on the building and has nothing to lose by making an appeal. This thing could rumble on for years if the applicant has time and the inclination to submit planning applications that don't add up!

Hettie said...

Thank you. I appreciate your clarification on this point.

DT said...

That is absolutely true, but equally true is that there has to be substantive grounds for appeal, i.e. the reasons for rejection have to be addressed. For example the 'Worcester Park' could be purchased demolished and converted (after gaining planning permission) into a Mosque car park.

There simply seems to be no other way that given the reasons for rejection an appeal could be succesful.

I think it's more likely that you will see an application for an Islamic Cultural centre, maximum 10 people, with prayer facilities.

Charlie_Mansell said...

As a former Councillor, this decision is no great surprise in planning grounds, the traffic and parking issues will remain a barrier to further development off Green Lane and this will only ever be resolved if the Gas works site is redeveloped and a road created from Green Lane to Motspur Park to the North. It would also require a bridge or tunnel across the Motspur Park railway line. However at least three landowners are involved and it is unlikely they will all have congruent views on redevelopment. In 2002 the Council rejected a 'relatively similar' proposal for land in Collingwood Road. The religious community group then went away and purchased a building which already had the requisite planning permissions. This is what is likely to happen next over this issue. I would imagine the land will soon be sold off and planning permission probably sought for housing to fund another purchase elsewhere.

parkerilla said...

What they really need is somewhere in this local area where they can build a larger building suitable for their needs with loads of car parking space. Step forward the old BBC Sports ground in Motspur Park!!

ConcernedCitizen said...

I too would like to know the answer to that question.

The building is quite clearly being lived in, and has been for well over a year now, despite the conditions of the planning application stating that it should not be occupied until the works are completed.

I also notice that it no longer appears on the UK Border Agency list of Tier 4 sponsors of education (which it used to back in 2011) see for yourself here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/employersandsponsors/pointsbasedsystem/registerofsponsorseducation or http://tinyurl.com/4uq57n

So, if they're not taking in new overseas students, what are they doing there?

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

It is my understanding Charlie that when Ken Livingston as London Mayor gave permission for the Hamptons to be built, he included a proviso that there should be no further road access to that area, meaning that a road as extremely sensible and useful as a one from Green Lane to Motspur Park to the North can not legally be created.

Charlie_Mansell said...

I would be surprised he could set such a condition in planning terms. The area I refer to covers a Kingston primary school site, the Gasometers behind and Network Rail land and crosses three local authorities. What might help now is if you could speak to Boris get him and perhaps get him to discuss with Sutton, Merton and Kingston to develop a "Motspur Park Open space, land use and transport framework" https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=motspur+park&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x48760907ddaba1c3:0xeb0bcf56945dafb6,Motspur+Park,+Greater+London&gl=uk&ei=fg--UOq_M6j34QSCvYEQ&ved=0CJUBELYD to maximise the community use of the large area of contiguous open space (a mix of Mayflower Park, cemeteries, crematoria and sports grounds, with some footpaths) as well as look at how future planning gain from development (ie the Gas holder site) could be used to improve transport links. The local government boundaries give no incentive to any one Council, so it really rests with Mayor to bring authorities together. Good luck with trying to convince him!:)

bazza said...

re; Worcester park tavern i have been informed a hotel chain has bought the premises.Work is starting next year.

Alex said...

That seems to be the 'official rumour' circulating, but nothing formal seems to have been confirmed.

Given the debacle over Bank Chambers, I'm sure residents would appreciate confirmation that the property will be redeveloped as a restaurant ... and that it's not going to be the new 'secret' mosque for the next 3 years.

aninformedperson said...

What about The Worcester Park tavern. The new owners have plans to convert it into a 'Community Centre' but what they really mean is a 'Temple'!! They are concerned about local reaction and are keeping things quiet at the moment but believe me when I say this is their intention!!!!

n gurung said...

well done all those involved.

Guest said...

I notice some prize comments supporting the mosque on the Worcester Park Blog's Facebook page, but it seems not everyone can add a comment on that particular page.


Do you have to send a Facebook 'friend request' to be able to comment there or do you have to do something else?

Guest said...

I suggest you unlikely to be full of information.


And more likely to be full of something organic.

Dave Reynolds said...

Good........When in Rome Ect

jo said...

Well done to those who worked ever so.hard to get the rejection and to those who have supoorted the ones needed it! They better not appeal!

Akhil said...

I've heard distinct rumblings of a mosque will become of the old Worcester public house

Have a little faith said...

Those of us who were at the planning meeting received confirmation that Kingston Council had put in a formal objection to the application at bank chambers.

And that was even before Sutton Councillors revealed that the application's claims in relation to numbers, parking and traffic were a complete sham and not worth the paper it was printed on.

Having spotted a nonsense application in the next Borough, don't you think it's rather unlikely that Kingston Council is going to believe those discredited claims, second time around, at a location on their own doorstep?

DT said...

I would think that an application for change of use from a Pub to Religious premises would be a lot easier than from Office to Religious premises. The building is already intended to cope with a similar number of people to the previous application, has its own parking and off road access to the entrance. So it would probably get through Kingston's planning committee.

malden ratpack said...

i am assured that the worcester park public house is going to be the next mosque and will have a capacity of over 400 and parking in excess of 100 cars..also 50% more if the cellars are exposed and tier parking is added...cost is not an issue and green lane was just a covert deflection to allow the right approach..i can easily see this to be easily obtainable and cant see how it will be turned down.mark my words money in the back pocket is better than money in the collection basket...see if im wrong!!

Have a little faith said...

Obviously you weren't at the planning meeting...


The numbers quoted in the planning application were utterly discredited by Sutton's Councillors at that meeting, as were the claims relating to use of public transport, traffic and parking requirements/availability.


And it was highlighted the meeting that Kingston Council had objected. Clearly they had worked out in advance that the numbers didn't add up first time around.

How many people are still clinging onto the long since discredited numbers in the planning application? I'm guessing less than the 10-15 it quotes!

dt said...

I was meaning the more realistic figure of 200-300. But I would bet the more likely outcome for this site is to demolish the building and put up housing or a travel lodge style hotel. Mor eprofit for the owner.

Lolly said...

Only problem is they maybe getting the Worcester park pub!!

InterestedWP said...

Waiting to hear about new planning results

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