Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 12°C

Five-day forecast

Government rejects plans to turn former Dagenham post office into mosque

Murad Haider, director of GroupCars, launched a petition to try and save the mosque last year. Murad Haider, director of GroupCars, launched a petition to try and save the mosque last year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
10:30 AM

Plans to create a permanent mosque in an old Dagenham post office have been rejected by the government.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Murad Haider, director of GroupCars, launched a petition to try and save the mosque on Rainham Road South.Murad Haider, director of GroupCars, launched a petition to try and save the mosque on Rainham Road South.

An application to change the now-empty shop at 539 Rainham Road to a “community/cultural centre” was denied by Barking and Dagenham Council last year, but an appeal was lodged days later.

Between a sandwich shop and a fast-food restaurant, the building had been used as a trial worship centre for 12 months from July 2012.

However, with various restrictions limiting roadside parking, an inspector for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Timothy King, dismissed the appeal on grounds of road safety and access.

The change, he said, “would give rise to a level of traffic generation and resultant on-street parking demand, prejudicial to the free flow of traffic and harmful to highway safety”.

Murad Haider, 36, director of Group Cars, a few doors down, launched a petition last year to save the mosque.

“Parking wasn’t really an issue because there’s so much space on the surrounding side roads,” he said. “The majority of people walked anyway.

“It’s not the end of the world because we’ve been provided with other places to worship instead, but they’re much harder for elderly people to get to.”

The centre had a membership of under 100 and no more than 50 were expected at any one time.

Tariq Baig, 48, owner of Toho Motors and a neighbour of Mr Haider, described it as “a sad decision”.

“There are quite a few churches around here but no mosque,” he said, “so we have to drive elsewhere.

“It ultimately comes down to a lack of a big Muslim community here and a lack of integration.”

But not everyone was disappointed by the decision.

Mr Harrison, 72, who lives a few doors down and declined to give his first name, told the Post: “It’s just not a suitable area and there isn’t enough parking.”

A council spokesperson said: “The council is sympathetic to the difficulties community groups can face in finding suitable premises.

“However, in this instance, the council was concerned about the impact on highway safety, an issue that had also been raised by local residents, and is satisfied the inspector upheld our original decision.”

Read More

Landmark ruling secures future of Dagenham’s Fanshawe Community Centre
‘Sad day’: NUT praises Warren School in academy row after court bid rejected
Pothole petition calls on Government to save Barking and Dagenham streets

Share this article

Crime & Court

Abunei admitted the charge (pic: PA Wire)

Jailed Dagenham cashpoint fraudster stole ‘to get home to Romania’

A kick-boxing dad used an iPod to steal people’s details at cashpoints up and down the country because he needed money to go back to Romania, a court heard.

Read full story »

Business

Barking MP Margaret Hodge

Margaret Hodge to address Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce

The borough’s businesses will enjoy a private audience with the women keeping the government’s finances in check this morning.

Read full story »

Politics

Councillor Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, and Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President, sign the £150m investment agreement

New homes to be built as part of £150m investment in Barking and Dagenham

Barking and Dagenham is set to become the first London borough to benefit from its share of a £1billion investment in the capital.

Read full story »

Heritage

Artist Chad McCail designed the mural and spent his summer engaging with as many of Becontree’s residents as he could (Pic: Matt Benjamin)

New Becontree mural to be unveiled this afternoon

A colourful new mural depicting the history of the Becontree estate will be unveiled at Valence House this afternoon.

Read full story »

Read more politics

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Barking & Dagenham Post on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Barking businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Barking & Dagenham Post, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »