Great news from Basildon in Essex. Local residents have successfully opposed and defeated plans to open a mosque on an industrial estate.
The applicants had been using the site without permission , something they described as a “trial period”…..we call it breaking the law ! The applicant Brother Sarwar (pictured at top), claimed “It is not a mosque. All this will be is an education centre. It is an Islamic centre for British and cultural studies” A simple look at the application form tells a different story.
Thankfully the Case Officer was not fooled. The decision to refuse cited “the loss of potential employment generating premises” , which is contrary to local council policies and NPPF. Most of the objections related to the same reason , and also road safety and parking problems
The application also attracted the attention of a local UKIP councilor . Kerry Smith, who leads the party’s group on Basildon Council, said he felt Buckwins Square was not the correct location for any religious building.
He said “The council has been quite understanding and the applicants already have a place at Vange Hill Drive. The application was made because there were complaints to the council that the building in Buckwins Square had been used during Ramadan without permission, with a lot of vehicles parked in the area and all the parking bays taken. The site is meant for business use and you would be taking that away and the jobs”. Worst of all, what would happen if everyone was at prayer and a child ran out into the path of a lorry?” Well said councilor !!