Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Council Planners Recommend Refusal of Mosque Application

Sutton Council officers in the planning department have recommended that the second application to turn the Old Bank Chambers in Green Lane into a Mosque be refused. The application is set to be heard by the Council’s Development Control Committee tomorrow evening (25th September) at 8pm.

The Summary of why the application proposals have been considered unacceptable are:

  • In land use terms, it is considered that the applicant has provided sufficient evidence to justify the loss of the existing office use within the site and has also demonstrated that there is a need within the local area for a mosque, this application has not been able to demonstrate that the site is suitable for the proposed use of this scale without resulting in an adverse impact of the proposal on the local highway network.
  • Although the applicant has made submissions to the contrary, the applicant does not, in light of the relevant planning history, made a persuasive case that there would be adequate safeguards to ensure that the number of worshippers at peak times will not result in demonstrable harm to highway safety in surrounding streets due to the likely increase in on-street parking at peak times in a manner that would be detrimental to the local highway network and cause danger and inconvenience to all users of the public highway.
You can see the full report here.

In total 660 letters of objection were received by Sutton’s planners, 630 of those being from people in Worcester Park. By contrast only 6 letters of support were received or which only 3 were from Worcester Park. Additionally, 3873 people signed petitions objecting to the application. There were no petitions supporting it.

The Development Control Committee, made up of a majority of eight Liberal Democrats (who have been very quiet on this issue) and two Conservatives could still ignore the recommendation and allow the development to go ahead. However the recommendation makes it much more likely that the application will be turned down.

Many readers will recall the packed meeting at Cheam High School on 3rd December last year when the original application was turned down. This decision has been appealed by the applicant. The appeal will be heard on the 26th November at 10am at Strawberry Lodge in Carshalton.

No doubt most Worcester Parkers will be hoping for a similar outcome tomorrow night to last December’s decision.