Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Doesn’t Appeal To Me

The refusal of last year’s application to convert the Old Bank Chambers in Green Lane into a Mosque is being appealed by the applicant. A letter (see below) should have been sent to everyone who wrote in supporting, opposing or just commenting on the original application. In it, the head of Sutton Council’s Development Services says that “On 15 July 2013 the Secretary of State for the Environment received an appeal by Mr H Aziz against the Council’s 4.refusal of permission.” (not sure what the 4. before 'refusal' is for though.)

We have 6 weeks from the 15th July to send in further comments to be taken into account by the appeal hearing. As it is now over two weeks since the 15th, this means we have less than 4 weeks.

Readers will be aware that the same applicant has recently submitted a second application to turn the building into a Mosque. While to most people this is a second try at the first application with a few adjustments, the blog understands that in the eyes of the law it seen as a completely new, different and unrelated application. However this appeal is not about this new second application, it is going back to the first application which was refused by the Council back in December last year and asking for this decision to be overturned. The fact they are appealing one decision while putting in another application for pretty much the same thing makes it seem a bit complicated though.

If you can remember back to the original application, which was turned down because of the traffic and parking problems it would cause (before any talk of a Green Mosque prohibiting the use of cars), this is the refused application they are appealing against.

Instructions for sending in further comments are contained in the letter. Time to get writing...

42 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

guest said...

To see this on the appeals portal use


There are no details as yet.

Barry Cullum said...

I have to admit, that's a crafty and unpredictable move by the applicant.
However, his hand has now been revealed..... expect a further appeal on the 2nd, recent decision if this appeal fails....

shelokay said...

what a waste of council time and resources... Mr Aziz just find a more suitable location ffs

Parkerilla said...

thanks, I thought that letter was to do with the 2nd application but now I realise its to do with the 1st application it now makes sense. I suspect Sutton council will now put the 2nd application on hold until the 1st application's appeal has been decided. That will string things out even more.

Organ Grinder said...

There is more than one way to skin a cat.....

guest said...

So you only need to find the historical data on the pig farm that was located there!

Organ Gringer said...

Maybe I know something you don't.... (wink wink)....

Porky said...

I wonder what farm animals Worcester Park farm had on it?
... (wink wink) ...or is it (oink oink)...?

Organ Grinder said...

The nearest pig farm was less than a mile away... I hope one never escaped! (oink oink)

teatime said...

I received the letter this morning and I'm stunned.

The reasons for rejection were very clear. This appeal highlights that Mr Aziz has no consideration or care whatsoever towards the wider community which is very concerning. I can't help but think that this whole shambolic situation will end badly given that a divide is already quite apparent.

Barry Cullum said...

The real villain of the piece is the agent advising Mr Aziz.... a certain Mr Iftikhar Maniar whose office is located in Strathmore Road in Teddington.
A quick check on the internet reveals that Mr Maniar has a string of high level qualifications in this field.... one of which was gained at Kingston University (oh great.... thanks Kingston!)
As such, the movement against the development of this mosque are dealing with a very very clever and resourceful man, who presumably knows exactly what he is doing....
He obviously knows the law inside-out..... BEWARE!

guest said...

Does anyone know under what ground the apeal has been made.

1.7 Grounds of appeal


In all types of appeal it is extremely important that the appellant

sets out their full grounds of appeal on the appeal form,

responding directly to the reasons for refusal set out in the local

planning authority’s decision notice. Where an appeal is against

the failure of the local planning authority to make a decision, the

appeal form should set out clearly why planning permission should

be granted for the proposed development


1.7.2 If the Planning Inspectorate considers that the appeal form has

not been properly completed and it is wholly unclear why the

appellant disagrees with the reasons for refusal (or in a failure

case why planning permission ough

t to be granted) the Planning

Inspectorate may refuse to accept the appeal as valid for


1.7.3 In cases where the information submitted on the appeal form is

not as clear as it might be, the appellant will be asked for more

details. If the further details are not submitted within the

timescale set by the Planning Inspectorate, the appeal will

proceed on the basis of the information supplied. The late

submission of any requested further details may lead to delay and

to the risk of costs being awarded.

And does anyone know why the appeal form is not displayed on the planning website? It seems to me they can only be claiming that there is sufficient parking in the area, even though that is patently untrue.

Barry Cullum said...

Good question. Studying the notice of appeal, it looks like the details will not appear on a website.... It only states that you have to phone to find out if the details are available. Even then it suggests that you have to actually visit the offices to obtain the details...
Worryingly, the notice date is given as 15th July, but the notice itself is dated 25th July.... 10 days difference. Does anyone know the reason for this?
More ... some people are only just receiving their copies of this notice, leaving less than 3 weeks to get their objections in and heard.
Very unsatisfactory ............

Nonsuch Appeal said...

This morning, upon receiving my copy of the above illustrated letter, I contacted Sutton planning to ask what the grounds are alleged for the applicant's appeal.
Without having sight of the appeal, nobody can comment on it (either way), which makes a mockery of this planning process!
...I simply can't believe we can't have access to the appeal AND be expected to comment on it!

Nichu said...

I commented via the portal on the first application. I also commented on the second application, with words to the same effect as I don't think that the original grounds for rejection had been addressed. I have nothing further to add, so will not be commenting again. Have I interpreted the letter correctly I.e. the original comments made for the first submission will be sent to the inspectorate?

Nonsuch Appeal said...

Your method for commenting on the first and second application certainly follow the requirements and I'm sure reflect what many of us have done. From the feedback at the last meeting we appeared to have covered all the bases and done a pretty good job.

With regard to the 'Appeal', without actually seeing what it actually is about, it's impossible to know if we've already covered the aspect(s) it describes.

The one thing that is for sure is that the more applications and appeals that go in, the more money there is to be made by the applicant's advisor(s)!

Barry Cullum said...

So you only got yours this morning!.... It's dated 25th July. What did the council do?... stick a Green Shield on the envelope?
This wouldn't be the first time that Sutton Council have exercised dodgy procedures.... The Hamptons Development objections affair was riddled with incorrect procedures (allegedly) on their part.
That aside, the agent for Mr Aziz is a very clever guy and I doubt he's the type to flog a dead horse with second applications and appeals. He knows what he is doing, he's very determined, and I suspect he's on the point of having Sutton Council exactly where he wants them.... on the back foot.
You cant comment on the appeal if you don't know the details...AND HE KNOWS THAT!... Puts him in the lead a bit huh?
Another point where he is one up on us.... This blog is freely available on the internet. If you haven't figured it by now... it means he's probably got a hard copy of everything that's been said on this blog from square 1.... he knows his enemy intimately by now.
Worse, I suspect he's added a few comments on the blog himself... under a pseudonym of course.... to draw out opinion and sway things in his way.... I know I would if I were him.
Don't be fooled .... I think this guy is clever, and he's a great danger to the success of this campaign.

guest said...

There is one thing working against him and that is the internet. The traditional techniques of putting up the notices and removing them an hour later don't work now. It is far easier for the opposition to gather together, they don't even need to do it physically and can then construct cogent arguments against the proposals.

It is also far harder to get contentious plans through planning committees for the same reason.

Barry Cullum said...

Lets hope so, my friend.... let's hope so

Nonsuch Appeal said...

Yep, Barry, dated 25th July - arrived 31st July! Then I checked the postmark (Sutton Council's own prepaid postmark), which is dated July 29th. So took 6 days to reach me, but for just 2 days it was in the care of Royal Mail, yet for 4 days, it was working it's way around various in-trays and out-trays within Sutton Council!
When I get a reply from Sutton Council as to the nature of this appeal, I will forward the details to Mr. Blogger. [Let's hope that doesn't take 6 days as well!}
I agree with guest: the internet, and in particular this blog is doing far more for the opposition than it is for the applicant. Also, the scale of the well reasoned opposition helps ensure Sutton Council don't lose sight of the issue between in-trays!
Other than the web, the one big advantage we have over the applicant is that it costs us nothing but time to send an email of objection or to turn up at a council meeting, but the applicant is having to his agent handsomely at every turn. Time is on our side - whilst the applicant burns his cash supply.
I think you give the applicant's agent, too much credit: he never wanted a quick resolution! On the contrary, he wants Mr. Aziz to go on pursuing this: apply, appeal, apply, appeal and so on, knowing that every Chess move makes him money before the cash supply runs out.
I'm sure the applicant digests everything written on this blog, but I don't think endless pages of widespread opposition tells them anything they didn't know already! I agree, they undoubtedly try to create a presence on the blog, which reminds me, we haven't heard from 'Stop Racism' for a while, have we? Or indeed the previous incarnation of 'Tabloid Hater'.

Parkerilla said...

Surprised by the post mark,I received my one delivered by hand through my letterbox by Sutton Council on Monday 29 July (in fact its the one in the photo above which I sent to WP blogger), if anyone received their one by regular post that surprises me.

Guest said...

Maybe you can ask Mr Aziz in person? A bit of internet digging gave me this: http://companycheck.co.uk/director/904295453 which includes a handy home address for Mr Aziz.

I do wonder why he'd want to come to Worcester park (by train or bus, because he *obviously* wouldn't drive here) everyday for a prayer or two, though?

NoneSuch Appeal said...

Parkerilla, I assure you it came by RM, arriving on 31st July
I took a photo of the "Delivered by Royal Mail" envelope (with letter) and emailed it to our WP blogger, also considering the question...
How many other residents (already known to be those most strongly objecting to the application) have been a 6-week deadline, but only informed less than 4 weeks before it expires?
Also, comment on WHAT? We still don't know even the vaguest details about the appeal or even roughly what basis it exists. How can we possibly observe and comment on something that we have no sight of or access to?

teatime said...

I also received the letter yesterday and it came by post.

Barry Cullum said...

On reflection, and on balance, I am coming into agreement with you in the main.
I think I'd flog a dead horse if I was paid to do it too....
Thanks for the reply

Barry Cullum said...

Ahem.... Ladies & Gentlemen.
Have I missed something here, or is every website wrong?

It would appear that the maximum time allowed for an appeal to be put in after a planning refusal of this type is 6 months.
I back-checked the blog and found that the planning refusal date was 3-12-2012
The appeal notice above states that the Secretary of State for the Environment received it on 15-7-12013

So can anyone explain to me why this appeal is being allowed?


Barry Cullum said...

and of course I meant 2013 and not 12013....doh!

guest said...

Actually as there was an enforcement notice served it drops to 28 days,

Planning application

6 months from the date on the decision notice, or

6 months from the expiry of the period which the LPA had to determine the application.

However, if an enforcement notice has been served for the same or
very similar development within the previous 2 years, the time limit is:

28 days from the date of the LPA decision if the
enforcement notice was served before the decision was made yet not
longer than 2 years before the application was made.

28 days from the date the enforcement notice was
served if served on or after the date the decision was made (unless this
extends the appeal period beyond 6 months).

NB – the LPA determination period is usually 8 weeks (13 weeks for
major developments and 28 days for non-material amendment applications).
If you have agreed a longer period with the LPA, the time limit runs
from that date.

Barry Cullum said...

Yes, I read all that on several sites.... Can't make head or tail of it.
Can you explain it in English please?

Thanks for your time

guest said...

I think this paragraph applies

28 days from the date the enforcement notice was
served if served on or after the date the decision was made (unless this
extends the appeal period beyond 6 months).

so as the enforcement notice was served on the 4th March (or thereabouts), the appeal period expired 1st April

Barry Cullum said...

Ok, thanks. I wasn't aware of the enforcement or it's date.
So, this tells me this appeal is invalid.

So what the heck is going on with that letter from Sutton Council?

guest said...

I think that it's a case of nobody knows who is checking the paper work, it is a case of they are just following the process.

The enforcement notice was reported here

guest said...


on the 4th March http://www.worcesterparkblog.org.uk/2013/03/notice-served-on-proposed-mosque_4.html

And reading that in more detail it says that Cllr Bullock got the enforcement notice on the 14th Feb, so my date was wrong it should be 14th March.

Perhaps Cllr Bullock is best placed to deal with this.

Barry Cullum said...

Thanks very much... It took me a while to get my head around it as I'm not used to legal jargon and if, as you state, the enforcement was obtained on 14 Feb, then the appeal is indeed invalid.

Guest, whoever you are... you're a star!

vr said...

I don't understand one thing - don't the Muslims know that about 200 years ago Worcester Park was a massive pig farm?? Do they really want to have their holy place of prayer here??? I'm quite surprised... (...)Not that I worry about them ;-)

vr said...

I would disagree with your statement that it costs us nothing - we pay council tax to Sutton Council (and he doesn't!!) and the money spent on this unreasonable planning application process, could have been spent on local schools for example. Just the postage costs to sent out these notices would add up to quite a high amount of money.

guest said...

I think you misunderstand Nonsuch Appeal was meaning direct costs, the Council Tax we all pay are indirect costs, like so many others that you could list. ISP charges, electricty for using your computer, heating/cooling your home and so on. Mr Aziz will be paying a direct cost to his consultant (though probably tax deductible as a charity cost).

guest said...

No I must disagree with you there. All praise must go to Cllr Bullock in forcing through the enforcement notice.

Bob said...

I agree with Guest. The point I think they were making was that the applicant's group have to fund all their applications, their appeals and their (no doubt, expensively paid by the hour) agent themselves, all entirely from their own pockets. Whereas any cost attributable to Sutton Council is absorbed across the Borough.
Sure, if it goes on and on, it may add a few quid to everyone's Council Tax - but it'll cost the other side a fortune, and it'll be absorbed by rather fewer people (who actually appear to be in Morden, not Sutton).
And at some point, those in Morden, picking up the tab for this cash killing affair will realise they're simply flogging a dead horse, creating a white elephant and quite possibly, literally uncovering a dead pig!
No doubt we'd all prefer the cash to have been spent on health or education, but to be fair, looking at the state of the Victoria House 'artwork' and the already cracking up 'new' brickwork at the crossings in Central Road, it's pretty clear an awful lot of money is wasted on nonsense projects in Sutton.

Oink Oink said...

Haha... Nice try, but no, not true....
However, you are closer to hitting the jackpot than you might think. There was a pig-farm nearby, about a mile away from the Bank Chambers in fact, in the distant past.
If you go down Green Lane, past the school at the end, it turns into a dirt track that will eventually lead you to the Beverley Pub.
About 300 yards down this track there is a sort of "crossroads" of tracks. If you turn right here, you will be on a path that runs behind where the sewage works used to be..... You will now be on a path known locally, when I was a kid, as Pig Farm Alley. We thought that was because of the incredible stench from the sewage works.
However, years later, when I researched Worcester Park, I discovered that indeed, there had been a large pig farm in that area.
So who knows?... a renegade porky may well have escaped and was cut down by the locals at the Huntsmans Hall. Better get into the Bank Chamber foundations and get your DNA test kit out...........lol.

guest said...

If you go far enough back in time you will find that every part of this country will have had pigs (or wild boars) living on it, so I think that Muslims must have a statue of limitations approach, otherwise they could never build a mosque.

However, you can have the situation that I found when doing work I on a house I had that was built on the site of the first or second (Thomas) Lord's cricket ground, the builders found a bone pit with many pig and beef bones in it, so that place would be out of bounds to Muslims and Hindus as it was clearly a site of a pork / beef slaughter house, Smithfield was less than a mile away and the main cattle market for London another mile away.

Oink Oink said...

I'm sure you're right about our cloven hoofed (hooved?) friends putting their mucky paws on every square inch of Britain at one time or another. But that doesn't necessarily prevent the placing of a mosque. However, I'll have a word with some mates I have of the Muslim persuasion and check up on this.
A statute of limitations?... That gave me a chuckle. I really don't know.
As for Lord's being the site of a slaughter.... No kidding! Did you see the result of the 2nd Test against the Aussies?....lol

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