Great news from Greater Manchester where local residents have forced the the Altrincham & Hale Muslim Association (AHMA) to withdraw a controversial application to build a new Islamic community centre on Green Belt in Timperley.
Locals organised demos, petitions and fundraising to fight this awful application on yet another section of Green Belt land. This seems to be a worrying trend.
Despite the withdrawal, local residents will remain on watch since a strategic development plan submitted by Greater Manchester Council is proposing quite widespread building on Green Belt areas (including Timperley). If passed and adopted, it may give the AHMA grounds to resubmit (setting a dangerous legal precedent for the protection of Green Belt zones).
This one may not be over just yet.
Yet another application in troubled Bolton.
Please can you help local residents by objecting to this application for a “CHANGE OF USE FROM VACANT CAR SALES SITE/SHOWROOM TO PLACE OF WORSHIP AND COMMUNITY CENTRE, ERECTION OF SINGLE STOREY EXTENSIONS AT FRONT SIDE AND REAR TOGETHER WITH NEW ACCESS POINTS AND ENTRANCE GATES at 270 BRIDGEMAN STREET, BOLTON, BL3 6BS.
Grounds For Your Objection.
The proposed development would be a serious loss of a large piece of employment land. Although the previous business failed, it is a prime commercial location.
The proposed development would attract in the region of 350 worshipers at full capacity, although the application meets council standards for parking there are insufficient onsite spaces to accommodate car users (estimated at 65 cars). The applicants have played down the numbers of users, why else would they need 18 spaces for public carrier vehicles ?
Worshipers who are unable to park onsite will be forced to park in the residential area opposite, thereby harming the residential amenity.
The proposed development will generate additional traffic and disturbance, and harm the residential amenity. Bridgeman St is quite narrow, and is a busy road.
No Travel Plan or traffic survey have been submitted with this application.
So no sign of the application yet, despite lots of promises that it will be presented “in the next few weeks”.
The Altrincham & Hale Muslim Association have applied to have the Environmental Impact Assessment waived, since they claim to have completed surveys already covering the subject. Call us old cynics, but if you commission a survey from a company they are hardly likely to come up with results that harm your application. We do hope Trafford Council insist on the full EIA.
The smart money is now that the application will go in over Christmas (an old ploy) , hoping to catch the locals napping.
Having spoken to the residents groups, we know they are ready to deliver 20,000 leaflets and objection letters. And another demonstration is ready to go.
Now that`s commitment !
Watch this space for further updates.
The rather odd machinations of the Bolton planning committee continue. Sadly for local residents they have approved a second application for a 3,000 capacity mosque in Great Lever, Bolton. It`s clear to us at Mosqueblock, that the council are behind this second application to cover up a previous legal error. Complaints to the Chief Exec and the Local Government Ombudsman are still ongoing.
A local activist spoke against the application, and made some strong points that many of the councilors clearly agreed with.One councilor felt that the public had been deliberately misled by the applicants. It was not a unanimous vote like last time.
However, after reviewing the footage of the meeting it may appear that another error may have been made. We find this amazing, were the Planning Department asleep during the meeting ? Were Legal Services present ? More complaints to follow.
The Planning Committee were recently audited by the Planning Advisory Service, and were told to make improvements (not that the council will release the full report). The Head of Planning resigned, rather than face further scrutiny.
We predict an awkward few months for the council. Sadly none of this will help the local residents who will face a tidal wave of cars every Friday.
Keep fighting !
This is a new application for an existing approval featured previously on this site. An update on the story can be found here:-
Please could you help local residents by objecting to the new application here:-
What to say when you object:-
The proposed development is far too large and overbearing in terms of mass and scale.
The proposed development does not match local architecture and construction materials.
The proposed development does not promote or enhance local character and distinctiveness.In particular the proposed development will have a serious impact on the Grecian Mill complex, which has a Grade II listing. “Where a proposed development will lead to substantial harm to or total loss of significance of a designated heritage asset, local planning authorities should refuse permission (NPPF)”
The proposed development has insufficient onsite parking to accommodate the 500 car users (based on a 1200 capacity and a 47% modal share). This will force worshipers to park in nearby residential streets (mainly Rigby Court and Ninehouse Lane) affecting highway safety and traffic flow. The demolition of the existing building will create extra parking. This will generate at least an extra 400 trips daily, bringing the local road network to a standstill.
The proposed development has insufficient onsite parking to accommodate the recommended 500 car spaces (based on a 1200 capacity and a 47% modal share). This will force worshipers to park in nearby residential streets (mainly Rigby Court and Ninehouse Lane), and cause noise and disturbance to the residential amenity. Based on the applicants latest figures the capacity could be as high as 2,500…requiring nearly 1200 spaces.
Following the council`s potentially illegal approval of the last application on this site in Bolton, we have a new application (which we will cover in a separate blog).
On 25/08/16 Bolton`s planning committee passed an application for “ERECTION OF A MOSQUE AND COMMUNITY CENTRE” (ref 95548/15). This included a last minute revision to demolish the existing mosque, which was added to the conditions of the approval. This is of course, a material change and as such should have been referred back to the public for consultation.
Local residents quite rightly sought legal advice, and although there was a case to answer were unable to raise the funds necessary for a Judicial Review. Complaints to the council`s Standards Committee and the Local Government Ombudsman are live and ongoing. There have been angry protests already at council meetings !
The new application is an attempt by the applicants to head off any legal action, by including the demolition of the existing building to the application.
Bolton Council are currently under the scrutiny of the Planning Advisory Service following an inquiry into practices at the Planning committee stage. A report is due in three weeks.
Local residents turned out in force today to oppose plans for an Islamic Cultural Centre and Place of Worship near Altrincham. More than 250 locals braved the cold to make their feelings known to the Altrincham & Hale Muslim Association , who plan to build a 2,000 sq m, two-storey building on Green Belt land off Thorley Lane.
The AHMA claims there is a “compelling and urgent need” for the new facility as the number of local Muslims has outgrown its current facility.
Regardless of the AHMA`s claims , the application will not meet the strict criteria needed to be fulfilled to build on Green Belt land. If they have any sense, they will abandon this daft application.
Once again the issues of parking, traffic generation,highway safety and damage to the local fauna and flora should be a a clear indication to Trafford Council that these plans need refusing.
Well done to local residents for getting “feet on the streets”, and be prepared to fight this all the way.
We`ll post updates on this story, as it develops.