Most applications are missed by locals. Borough councils only have a minimal statutory duty to inform immediate neighbours. It`s probably fair to say that a number of applications have sneaked through unannounced , which would suit the applicants. The definition of “neighbours” varies from council to council , but never extends more than a couple of hundred metres from the site.
Local papers are often a good source of info , they sometimes publicise plans for applications months in advance. Probably a good idea to start making plans , but you`ll need to watch for when the planning application is formally submitted before you start getting busy.
Council planning sites are easy to access. You can search by keyword , address or view weekly list. You can also phone the Planning Department , they are obliged to talk to you…and are governed by the Freedom Of Information Act. But be polite , they are only doing a very boring job ! Here`s an example
The sites will be either Simple Search (SS) or Weekly Lists (WL).
The Simple Search are easiest , just type in “D1” or “D1 Community Centre” and it`ll show you any applications for the D1 category (which covers mosques). The most recent will be at the top.
Weekly Lists are harder , you`ll need to select the current week …and read through the lot , but only Applications Registered. Look for “Change Of Use” , and anything that mentions D1 or Islamic. Some pages you have to set a search period.
New applications are published on Friday afternoon
Local intelligence is also useful , but beware of false rumours !