As this case enters its 18th year ( I kid you not ) , the latest installment has just finished.
The much delayed Planning Inspectorate Public Inquiry into the fate of the Riverine Centre , recently finished at the ExCel Centre near London City Airport.
The inquiry was to rule on Newham Council`s decision to unanimously reject plans for a 9,000 capacity building for Muslim worshipers in December on the site – former industrial land at the end of Canning Road which is listed for strategic development.
The hearing turned into a three week Battle Royale with Newham Council and Newham Concern (representing Megamosque No Thanks) on one side , and the Riverine Centre Trustees and the Newham Peoples Alliance on the other. All four combatants were represented by barristers or solicitors , however the Riverine Centre Trustees were quick to distance themselves from the Newham Peoples Alliance.
All of the four groups were allowed to call witnesses , and cross examination and discussion was allowed. The Inspector also was able to direct questions to the witnesses. Once again a number of local residents showed the courage of their convictions , and gave evidence against the development. Their committment must be applauded.
However , the star witness for Newham Concern failed to show , and sent a last-minute communication via the Newham Peoples Alliance. How very odd you may think ! Witness intimidation , surely not !!! Read all about it here :-
The Inspector will now prepare a report and recommendation for Eric Pickles (the communities minister) which has to be delivered by October 6th 2014.
Our prediction is dismissal of the appeal. However a Judicial Review (by one of the sides) and more legal shenanigans seem likely also.
We`ll bring you any news , as soon as we get it.