Redbridge Council has given the go-ahead to a 500-person mosque in Goodmayes despite sustained local opposition.
A current Islamic centre in Ashgrove Road, Goodmayes, will be demolished to make way for the three-storey Eman Foundation Islamic Centre.
But residents fear development on this scale will worsen an already “chaotic” traffic problem in the area.
Ted Debnam, of Abbotsford Road, spoke against the proposal at the council’s regulatory committee meeting on November 28. He said: “This is a wholly inappropriate development for a residential street. The size of the building is out of character with other buildings.
“The development will exacerbate the considerable parking situation in Ashgrove Road. Indeed there have been times when I have been unable to move my car because of cars belonging to the mosque.”
The building will be used for main Islamic prayers five times per day at sunrise, midday, sunset and nightfall, and is expected to be full to its 500-person capacity for Friday prayers at midday as well as madressa classes from 5pm until 7pm each evening.
It will also contain a mortuary, function hall, an imam’s flat, prayer halls, a library and classrooms.
Emam Foundation trustee Mobeen Munir told the Recorder: “The work we have proposed is just to improve our facilities as the current premesis is a shambles.
“Our neighbours had 28 days to object, and some have done that, but the council are happy that we will sort out any issues.”
A statement from the Emam Foundation to the planning commmittee read: “The centre will provide a meeting point for Islamic learning and promote a more informed understanding of Islam and its culture and civilisation.”
It went on to say that it did not expect traffic levels to rise as a result of the new facility.
Julian Fabian, lead elder of the Grace Church, which is next to the mosque, urged the council to work with the foundation to find a more suitable site for the project, adding: “The revised proposal will neither meet their growing needs nor meet the needs of the whole local community.”
See on www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk