Council Says No To "Mega-Mosque"

A group has been denied permission to build a "mega-mosque" in east London.

Newham Borough Council rejected the proposal for the mosque in West Ham at a planning meeting last night.

If permission had been granted, Abbey Mills Mosque would have become one of the biggest Islamic centres in Britain and western Europe, with a capacity of 9 thousand.

But councillors heeded recommendations from the council's officers to reject expansion on the former industrial land, amid strong opposition and concern about the project.

Following the meeting, Conor McAuley, Newham Council's executive member for regeneration and strategic planning, said: "The proposed mosque building is too big and would have an impact on important historic buildings nearby."

He said councillors had considered the application "at length and with great care" before rejecting it.

"The council undertook a rigorous and extensive consultation about the proposals in the run-up to this decision," he added.

"Our planning policies promote the development of the Abbey Mills site for a mix of residential, employment and community uses, to help create a new local centre near West Ham station and regenerate the area.

"The creation of new homes and jobs are a priority for Newham Council.

"It is not considered that this application is consistent with these policies."

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