Monday, 24 February 2014

Appeal Is Now An Inquiry

The appeal against the Council decision not to allow 2-4 Green Lane to become a Mosque has got the go ahead and has morphed into an Inquiry. Many people will have received the letter below in this mornings post stating that the the appeal will be across two days, the 8th and 9th of April and will be held at the Salvation Army centre at 45 Benhill Road in Sutton, SM1 4DD.


This is of course the combined appeal against both Sutton Council decisions to reject the application for a change of use of the building to a place of worship. The first application was submitted back in July 2012 and galvanised the community to help fight the plans due to the additional traffic and parking problems any place of formal gathering would cause at this site. The application was rejected unanimously by the Sutton Council Development Control Committee on the 3rd December 2012.

The applicant then lodged a separate, slightly adjusted application and almost immediately afterwards lodged an appeal against the original rejection which was set to be heard on the 26th November last year. Once again the local community got to work gathering petition signatures and writing letters of objection to the new application. This application was also unanimously rejected by the Development Control Committee on the 25th September 2013.

The second rejection was then appealed by the applicant and the planing inspectorate decided to hear both appeals in conjunction. That co-joined appeal has become an Inquiry. In the words of one Guest D, a regular contributor to this blog:
"If the appeal had been upheld that would be game over and work could start on the conversion to a Mosque. 
What appears to have happened is that PCS have been persuaded that there is sufficient grounds for the objection and have decided on a public enquiry. The dates are evidence to be presented by 11 Mar 2014 and the enquiry will be held on the 8th Apr 2014. 
The objectors were pushing for this as they could then use legal representation to argue their case, the council were aiming for a summary hearing."
So now it is time to gear up to fight this appeal and ensure the Inquiry understands the severity of the existing traffic situation in Worcester Park and Green Lane and the soundness of the decision made by the Development Control Committee on both occasions.


13 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Spud said...

Goodness, this is never going to end is it? Although I have to say that I have a feeling that no matter what the objections are, or the force of the local community, eventually at some time the go ahead will be given for this......

guest said...

The real problem is the total disregard that Mr Aziz has for the feelings of the people of Worcester Park. I still think that a petition with over 4000 names on it speaks volumes. The fact that Mr Aziz has people are living there and the council have done nothing is a major concern. I have a feeling that Mr Aziz will regret his actions throughout this long running saga as people are getting really fed up with this situation. Lets hope after the inquiry he will pack his bags and go.

guest said...

This is a very good point made. Now is the time to finish this once and for all. I will be sending my own documentation regarding this. Everyone remember it is important to turn up at the Inquiry as well.

Parkerilla said...

If it's a public inquiry it means Sutton Council's case being led by a QC over 2 days plus all the preparatory work and liason between the council and his chambers. I should think the legal bill alone for this inquiry will be at least £50,000 of our council tax. Remember how expensive the inquiry into the last stage of the Hamptons was, it cost Sutton Council a fortune.

guest said...

Even in the unlikely event that the public inquiry resulted in upturning the two applications so far, the matter will then probably be contested in court through a judicial review. This would take months but as least Mr Aziz can keep running his thriving "hotel" there!

guest D said...

As Pakerilla has said this enquiry will cost us around £50,000 in legal fees, an appeal by Sutton to the Supreme court will cost much, much more. I doubt that they would spend that fighting a case on the very edge of the borders.

Also, any such case would be brought after the local elections and the situation may have changed then.

So take action now.

Hettie said...

If this appeal is upheld we will be asked once again to believe once again that the majority t will be cycling or walking to the proposed Mosque, therefore the traffic and parking situation in Worcester Park will remain unchanged. The granting of this permission will result in Worcester Park being more gridlocked that it already is and the limited number of parking spaces presently available being vastly reduced. Once again Mr Aziz is showing total disregard for others already living and working in this area, is clearly determined to get his way and hang the consequences. So no change there.......

Parkerilla said...

guest D, I completely agree with your point of view but I'm not sure Sutton Council could appeal to the Supreme Court. As I understand it this public inquiry will lead to a decision by the Secretary of State which is final, whoever wins, that is the final outcome. The only exception to this would be an appeal on the basis of the Secretary of State's decision being a perverse judgement, a decision which couldn't have been made by a reasonable person in possession of the facts, in other words the S of S must have been having a nervous breakdown or something at the time.

guest said...

I really do not understand how this has turned into an inquiry. Twice the council have turned down ridiculous applications from Mr Aziz. Now vast amounts of council money will be used just to confirm the obvious again. Why has the council not questioned Mr Aziz for allowing people to use the premises illegally up to now? People are really fed up with Mr Aziz and his lack of respect for the people of Worcester Park. I feel that he has really underestimated the tension he has caused.He did not even show his face at the public hearing.

guest D said...

Well having seen Eric Pickles trying to pass the buck and producing some very dubious statistics over the flooding, on the Andrew Marr show, that may well be true:-)

I am no legal expert, but I thought when the Supreme Court was set up it overturned all of the existing points of final appeal. However, it is mute point, Sutton would not waste the very large sums and the costs of the other party on an appeal they would certainly lose.

guest said...

Does anyone know if the WPRA will be present at the inquiry? There are no updates on their website.Also is it worth putting in a further objection to the council as i have compiled information backed up with pictures showing parking capacities at various times. Most notably fridays (has anyone noticed that it is actually getting worse around WP that day).Any advice would much appreciated.

Guest said...

I would contact the WPRA via email, who were very active in opposing this planning application from the start - I think it unlikely that they are not involved at this crucial 'final' stage.

Green Lane said...

Good evening folks,
Just to offer some reassurance to fellow members of the KT4 community, (and as members of WPRA, including myself, will already know), the WPRA is on the case here.
Rest assured, a small team of key members are actively working to put together a submission for this Inquiry. I am sure the WPRA will, once again, do everything possible to ensure that common sense prevails (as it has previously, twice before).
Hopefully, at the end of this inquiry, the previous decisions that were reached, for very good, clear reasons, will be fully endorsed.

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