Saturday, 14 September 2013

Green Lane Mosque hearings

Many readers will have received a copy of this letter over the last day or so concerning the Mosque appeal:
This is the hearing regarding the Appeal against the councils decision last year to turn down the application for the Mosque.

The other hearing, the second application for the Mosque will be heard by Sutton Council's Development Control,Committee at Europa Gallery, Central Library, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA on the 25th of September (a week and a half away) at 8:00pm. Details can be found here: This is a public meeting.

Thanks to those who have sent me their copies of this letter.

6 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Dave said...

Anyone who doubts the thoroughness of LBS Officers in dealing with this application might care to follow the link in the last paragraph above and read the pdf at item 2.

Dave said...

6.1 actually says "... this application has not been able to demonstrate that the site is suitable for the proposed use ...".

I am well aware of the dubious 'petition' presented by the applicant, as well as plenty of other questionable, and conflicting, statements and claims.

However, in the pdf it states :

"Objection Petitions
Ranulph Murray for and on behalf of the Conservative Party. 136
Mr Hookway on behalf of the Worcester Park Residents Association. 3737
Total 3873

Support Petitions
Total 0"

That is what is to be presented to the Committee.

And, for the sake of balance, one might ask why some of the 660 letters of objection were received from people in Purley, Fulham, New Addington, Knaphill, Morden and Woking, whereas four of the six (!) letters of support were from locals.

That there were just 6 letters in support certainly demonstrates that there is practically no local support. And that the applicants supposed petitioners - you will recall whole households being signed for by one person - clearly couldn't be bothered to write letters of support; unless they were told not to, in case the true number of potential attendees became clear. It's all highly ambiguous, in accordance with the dissembling of the applicant.

I too disagree, and strongly, that there is any need for a mosque in this area, 'green' or not, but picking out the odd statement in the pdf does not distract from the fact that LBS Officers are dealing with this in a rigorous manner, just as we expect all the Councillors to do.

You sure Dave? said...

"That there were just 6 letters in support certainly demonstrates that there is practically no local support." Yes Dave, and isn't it a shame that the planning officer wasn't thorough enough to realise the same thing? Instead, the planning officer has pinpointed that the problem is the location - not the obvious lack of local need.

Again, the planning officer wrote that the application "demonstrated that there is a need within the local area for a mosque,". But there is almost zero local need and the applicant has certainly failed to demonstrate anything other than almost zero local need. The planning officer's lack of thoroughness has agreed to the existence of a need that patently does not exist.

We can only hope the planning inspectorate are more thorough than Sutton Council, and can deduce that it's not just the site that is the problem - the very requirement on which the application is made is completely bogus.

As for redressing the balance of the letters, 630 out of 660 letters of objection came from within Worcester Park, which is over 95%. Of the remaining 30, 26 came from within the London Borough of Sutton or a neighbouring Borough, making a total of 99.4%. In contrast, only a pitiful 3 out of 6 letters of support came from within Worcester Park, which is of course, only 50%.

I suspect the remaining 4 letters of objection (i.e. 0.6%) were from concerned relatives of people living in Worcester Park or from small companies who need to maintain deliveries to or from Worcester Park. In principle, bringing Worcester Park to a grinding halt without parking 5 times a day will affect many more thousands of people than the 10,000 living here.
It's a shame the full impact of this planning application wasn't considered fully and thoroughly enough.

guest D said...

My understanding of the process is that if the planning officer makes errors it is much easier to appeal the decision with the planning inspectorate.

The planning officer has to be factually correct, even if there is just one person who states they want a Mosque, the planning officer can't say there is no need. Practically no need is not the same as no need.

Also not the planning officer turned down the decision, so the council were just ratifying his decision not overturning it.

So as Dave says be thankful the planning officer is doing a thourgh job.

Parkerilla said...

Surprised they're considering the 2nd application before the appeal for the 1st application has been decided. Gives the impression that the appeal has already been unofficially turned down which gives the impression of prejudgement which isn't good, giving the applicant an "angle" of an unfair prejudged hearing.

Gordo's Neighbour said...

A planning officer making a thorough investigation of the need for a mosque would have deduced the need to speak to Muslims working in the vicinity of Worcester Park (the local minicab businesses, for example?).

For Muslims, the Friday midday prayers are the one time in a week they pray at a mosque and a mosque near their workplace makes more sense than a mosque close to their homes.

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