London, Oct 30 (IANS) Plans for a mosque here with a floor space three times the size of the city’s St. Paul’s Cathedral were rejected yet again on Thursday by the British government, Xinhua reported.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark has refused an appeal to allow what has been called a “mega mosque” from being built in the London borough of Newham.
Clark also ruled that a smaller temporary place of worship for Muslims currently in use on the site of the proposed “mega mosque” would have to close within three months.
A public enquiry was ordered after London’s Newham Council rejected plans for a mosque, spanning almost 30,000 square meters on the site in West Ham.
The plans for the mega mosque on what is called the Abbey Mills Riverine Center were put forward by the Anjuman-E-Islahul-Muslimeen Trust and would have catered to 9,000 worshipers.
The project generated support and opposition, with the community group Newham People’s Alliance supporting the plans, and the “MegaMosqueNoThanks” campaign fighting the proposals.
The scheme also included a segregated space for nearly 2,000 women, a library, dining hall, visitors’ center, and eight flats for imams and guests, along with tennis courts, football pitches, a garden, and a riverside walk.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said in a statement Thursday: “Ministers have today dismissed appeals on the refusal of planning permission for a mosque in the London borough of Newham. The decision was based on concerns that include local housing provision and conflict with the council’s local plan for the borough.”