Walthamstow Residents Save Historic Local Pub



Local residents pulled off a stunning victory in East London last night.

The Faizan E Islam Trust had purchased the historic Waltham Oak last year , paying just under a million pounds for the site. An application was submitted to Waltham Forest Council for a “change of use” from a pub to a D1 Place Of Worship/Community Centre/Residential use.

Local residents were horrified , not only is the pub a historic landmark in the borough……there is only limited onsite parking.  The applicants cheerfully admitted at the Planning Committee hearing that 250 worshippers could easily be accommodated by the 20 onsite parking spaces. Clearly maths isn`t their strong point !

The applicants then wheeled out their star speakers , a wacky priest and two Muslim councillors (doing their duty) , who gave rather embarrassing  and unintelligible speeches. One councillor even suggested that the committee would refuse the application if they heard worshippers breathing noisily ( I kid you not ).

Two local objectors spoke , and gave well balanced and sincere speeches. They outlined their concerns with clarity and dignity , something that the supporters failed to achieve.

After a long debate (made longer by a councillor clearly enjoying playing to the large crowd) , the committee voted to refuse the application.

Planning committee chair Peter Barnett , said the committee had a good track record of approving mosques but he did not support this application. The loss of a pub is an important consideration. Removing a pub from that area will devastate the night time economy and pubs are dropping off at an alarming rate. This will generate a great deal of traffic and parking problems. I would be happy to support a mosque in another place but this is the wrong place to have a mosque.”

As we left the hearing , a group of 50 or so supporters had gathered on the Town Hall steps…and were heard making comments about discrimination , and that they would appeal.


A spokesperson for the Save The Waltham Oak group said “The council reached the correct decision for the local residents , we will oppose any appeal”




Sutton Council Describe New Application As “Tosh”.



Sutton Council has refused a mosque application for the second time. The controversial development was rejected in December last year  on the grounds it would cause traffic chaos with no measures to stop up to 140 people coming in cars with no on-site parking. . The site is located on the busy Green Lane in Worcester Park.

A new application was rapidly submitted with a rather fanciful Travel Plan , which claimed that every worshipper would walk or arrive by public transport ….a “car free Mosque”. The applicants also reduced the capacity.

The Planning Committee failed to be convinced ,  Councillor Tony Shields  described the presentation from Cunnane Town Planners  “tosh”. He  added: “You’ve used guesswork to come to the conclusion you’re looking for. It will be gridlock. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a mosque, pilates or a bingo hall – that building is not suitable for public assembly.”

Local residents have rallied to the cause to object to both applications , with almost 4,000 people signing petitions . Just goes to prove that you don`t need expensive lawyers to represent you , just a spot of organisation.

Clearly now local authorities are fed up having to fund Controlled Parking Zones , to protect local residents from worshippers careless parking. Many applications are accompanied by Traffic and Parking Management Plans , which are of course unenforceable. You can`t force people to not arrive by car !

An appeal against the rejection of the first application is set to be heard in November