Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mosque Appeal Hearing

The Appeal against the Council decision to turn down the application for 2-4 Green Lane (seen above with a freshly painted white door) to become a Mosque is now only two weeks away. The inquiry which is expected to take up to two days begins at 10:00am on Tuesday 8th of April and is being held at the Sutton Salvation Army Church & Community Centre which can be found on Benhill Avenue (near the corner of Throwley Way), Sutton SM1 4DD.

This will be a more formal event than the public Development Control Committee meetings which turned down the application.

There are three kinds of appeal. The Written Representations Procedure which is considered the quickest and most straightforward type of appeal. This is best suited to small scale developments like houses. Then there is the Hearing Procedure which is suited to more complicated cases which require detailed discussion about the merits of a proposal. At such a hearing the Inspector will lead a discussion on the matters already presented in the written statements and supporting documents. This was originally going to be the procedure used for this appeal.

The third kind of appeal, which this one now is, is the most formal of the procedures: The Inquiry Procedure. This procedure involves barristers and each witness can be cross examined.

As this is going to be such a formal affair, members of the public who wish to attend must notify the council beforehand of their intention to do so. At the time of writing around 50 people have indicated that they will be there. Anyone else who wishes to attend should email developmentcontrol@sutton.gov.uk to book a place. This also means that comments yelled out by members of the public will not be tolerated in the way they were at the Council planning meeting. Everyone there will have to bite their tongues, even if they feel that someone has opened a large box of porkies and is spreading them knee deep throughout the inquiry. The alternative is that the entire public gallery may be asked to leave.

Now we just need to convince the Inspector why the Council's decision was a sound one...