I think most of our readers are familiar with the second longest running mosque planning battle. Plans to build a very large flashy mosque in the West Midlands town of Dudley , have been submitted , refused , appealed , refused and approved since 2003.
The site in Hall St , is a piece of land earmarked for industrial use . It was acquired by the Dudley Muslim Association as part of a land swap deal with Dudley Council.
The latest installment saw Dudley residents being invited to offer evidence as to whether the council should accept a £325,000 out of court offer made by Dudley Muslim Association for the land.
The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Board sat on July 27 and 28 to discuss the site in Hall Street, which is the subject of ongoing legal proceedings between the DMA and the authority, concerning the ownership of the land.
If the proposal was accepted, it would end the costly legal battle, the DMA would own the site and the council would have met its legal obligations to get the best price for the land.
There were allegations from a Muslim leader who accused Dudley Council of being Islamophobic. Dr Khurshid Ahmed said the Muslim community had “suffered enough” at the hands of the local authority and urged councillors to bring the matter to a conclusion.
Evidence from local residents and council employees was also considered , and the decision issued on August 7th was that “Dudley Council bosses will be recommended to reject an out of court settlement which would have handed land previously earmarked for a replacement mosque in the town over to the Dudley Muslim Association”
Councillor Dave Tyler, chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, said “It is clear there is significant historical opposition to the proposals for a mosque on Hall Street and this opposition is likely to be exacerbated if a development there went ahead. We did not receive any reassurance from the Dudley Muslim Association of a completion date if the settlement had been recommended and the group’s governance and business planning around the proposals is vague. There was also some uncertainty as to whether the proposal was a firm offer from the DMA or subject to further consultation”.
Deep sighs of relief all round. Well done to the local residents who gave evidence.
The fate of the Hall St Supermosque will be decided in the Court of Appeal in October , unless a an alternative site can be found.
Keep fighting Dudley !!