People Power Triumphs In Dagenham

sanofis

Wonderful news from Essex , where local residents have scuppered secret council plans to build a mosque at a sports and social club.

The story begins in September 2015 when trustees say they were approached by Barking and Dagenham Council, on behalf of Barking Mosque, and held a meeting with council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell – plus a representative from the borough’s planning department – on Tuesday, September 29. The Trustees then voted unanimously to agree in principal to the siting of the building adjacent to the north east area of the car park, and possibly on the car park, subject to planning applications.

However a very well organised (and supported) campaign led by The Dagenham Eastbrook Mosque Action Group (assisted by the local UKIP team) , has forced the council and trustees and council to drop the “hot potato”. Over 600 local residents attended a consultation meeting in January 2016 , and voiced their objections to the scheme.

The public pressure recently forced Dagenham’s May and Baker Sports and Social Club trustees into a swift ” u turn”. Steve Thompson, board of trustees chairman at the centre in Dagenham Road, Dagenham, said negative speculation about a “mosque” showed public backing for developments is vital. He said they made the pledge at their monthly meeting last week, but stressed there was never any plan to build a mosque……(oh really !!)

 

Great news , and well done to all involved.

Fido

Illegal Mosques.

illegal

We get lots of messages about illegal mosques. Really they are quite simple to deal with :-

Check your facts. Put the address into the planning application search of your local council ,and see what comes up. Also check the UK mosque directories (take screenshots to use as evidence)

Is the use illegal ? All buildings have a use class , what is the premises currently registered as ? Normally a shop or a restaurant. All explained here:-

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/changeofuse

The correct class for a mosque is D1.

Get some evidence. A few photos of worshippers entering and leaving is normally enough , also photograph any signs/posters/timetables in the window.

AT NO POINT SHOULD YOU RISK YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY , if confronted and threatened…DIAL 999 FOR THE POLICE. It is not illegal to photograph anything or anyone from the public highway (without their consent). Be careful not to get any photographs of minors in your evidence (that could land you in trouble)

Contact Planning Enforcement. A short email explaining that you are reporting a planning breach , and asking them to investigate and enforce (attach your photos).

Keep sending your email until you get a response , and a case number. The investigation may take a month , enforcement will contact you with the results.

If a warning letter is sent to the property owner , it will give them up to 28 days to stop the illegal use. Go back and check a month later , if the warning has been ignored report it again.

If the owners continue to ignore the enforcement notices , they may find themselves in court…so keep at it. “Failure to comply with an enforcement notice  is a criminal offence. An enforcement notice is a notice requiring compliance with planning consent. If the notice is upheld, the penalty for failure to comply is a fine of up to £20,000 on summary conviction or an unlimited fine on indictment”. 

An enforcement sometimes triggers a planning application , so stay vigilant. We can be contacted on mosqueblock@hotmail.com if you need any help.

 

Fido