The long running saga of a mosque application on an industrial park in Chettisam (Cambridgeshire) is at an end.. The application had been previously submitted and withdrawn earlier in the year. Local business owners have been fighting this case for most of 2014 , and must be delighted that the application has been refused .
It was in January that the Ely Muslims applied for planning permission to take over part of the former Aquarius Furniture warehouse on the Chettisham Business Park, in Lynn Road. Their proposals involved turning a 230 square metre area inside the warehouse into a meeting point for local Muslim families where they could worship and celebrate religious activities and cultural festivals. We estimate the capacity at over 300. But the scheme, led to a raft of objections from companies based on the business park who were worried about pedestrian safety and access, was withdrawn in April. A new application was made in June.
The location of the proposed mosque was always a poor choice , we always say that worshipers and lorries don`t mix.
The case officer gave his reasons for refusal as :-
1. Insufficient parking for the proposed use and remaining business use
2. Inadequate loading and unloading facilities
3. An access road which has an inadequate width, poor alignment; lack of passing places and defined routes for pedestrians
4. No details to demonstrate that the entrance gate will remain open during the hours of the proposed use.
This would be likely to encourage inappropriate parking within the public highway and result in a conflict with the existing businesses and would thus be harmful to highway safety. The proposal would therefore conflict with Policies S6 and S7 in the East Cambridgeshire Core Strategy 2009 and policies DCREFULZ COM7 and COM8 in the Draft East Cambridgeshire Local Plan (Pre-submission version as amended June 2014).
Congratulations to all involved , common sense has prevailed !!