A worrying new trend is emerging. There have been three recent mosque applications based on industrial estates. The attraction is clear , no local residents who will object and a cheap large unit to rent or buy.
It first came to our attention last year , when we reported on a withdrawn planning application in Chettisham , Ely.
What is obvious , is that you`ll need a slightly different strategy to fight these application.
1. SAFETY , SAFETY , SAFETY.
The close proximity of worshipers (and possibly children) is your trump card. Check out the other users of the industrial estate , do any of them operate HGV`s or heavy plant machines ? You might want to drop a line to the Health and Safety Executive (if they haven`t been consulted).
Also consider contacting the Highways Agency.
Don`t forget to use the planning application reference.
2. LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT LAND.
Does the area have a high level of unemployment ? Does the local council have a section in their Core Strategy about protecting employment land ? Has a business been run on the site within the last 5 years. These are all points you can use.
Our favorite old chestnut , work out the capacity…..0.5m2 per person (you`ll find the dimensions on the planning application form). A recent application in Essex , has 8 parking spaces for a capacity of 500+
4. TRAFFIC GENERATION..
Most industrial parks are out of town , with poor transport links….meaning that worshipers will have to drive. This will of course generate extra traffic and disturbance on local roads.
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