Appeal Against Rejected Mosque Application In Worcester Park Delayed Until 2014

The appeal against a refused planning application to convert an unused building into a mosque in Worcester Park has been delayed until spring next year.

The reviewed application was to be heard on November 26, but has been pushed back due to the Planning Inspectorate needing more time to gather “supporting evidence”.

This is the second appeal against a rejected application for a mosque in Worcester Park, therefore the council have decided to link both appeals into one.

The Planning and Transportation Case Officer for Sutton Council, Richard Green, said: “It’s all down to the processes of the appeal. It takes 6 – 8 weeks to gather the evidence.”

The application to convert the old bank chambers at 2-4 Green Lane to a mosque was first denied unanimously by councillors in December 2013 due to a failure to provide parking for visitors.

This was appealed and in September of this year the application was again unanimously turned down with all councillors drawing on concerns about the traffic that the mosque would cause in the area.

When the applicant claimed that most of the visitors would be local muslims who would walk to and from the mosque, the Conservative Councillor Tony Shields said: “I’ve been a councillor for quite a while and I’ve heard a lot of tosh in these meetings but you are way out in front.”

Nearly 4,000 residents have signed a petition objecting to the application and 660 letters have been sent to the Council protesting against the applicant being granted planning permission.

In a comment left on the Worcester Park Blog, one resident said: “Any councillor who votes contrary to the recommendations of the planning officers would need to consider their position and could expect to spend more time with their family after the next local elections.”

Image courtesy of REX Features

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