Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 17°C

Five-day forecast

FAR-RIGHT groups are forging ahead with a ­campaign of street protests in an attempt to stop a mosque and community ­centre opening in Dagenham.

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

The English Nationalist Alliance (ENA) has pledged to stage demonstrations every three weeks to prevent the opening of the facility in Green Lane, given the go-ahead despite 1,300 objections last month.

The ENA announced its next protest will take place with the English Defence League on March 5, as it emerged the only way to overturn the planning ­decision would be to call for a judicial review.

Organisations would have until the end of next week to apply for the High Court review, given the strict, six-week legal deadline. A review could also incur considerable legal costs and protesters would have to demonstrate the planning decision made by councillors on January 17 had either been unlawful, irrational or biased.

The ENA, EDL and the British ­National Party – which held the first protest on February 5 – argue that residents’ views were ignored in light of the number of objections.

They also highlight that planning officers recommended the plans be turned down but were overturned by a narrow majority of eight to seven councillors at Barking Town Hall.

ENA spokesman Bill Baker said: “Many of us are Dagenham residents, or have roots in Dagenham, and feel that this whole situation is going to create disharmony in the community if this centre is allowed to continue.

“On March 5 the ENA has again ­organised a demonstration in Green Lane and this is being backed by the EDL. We will keep returning to Green Lane every three weeks.”

Barking and Dagenham Council this week declined to comment on a ­potential legal challenge but indicated earlier this month the new centre, due to open by the autumn, would bring benefits to the community.

A council spokesman said: “Fourteen letters of support were submitted along with a petition supporting the proposal with 251 signatures. The scheme is a community centre which provides a number of services which all groups within the area can take advantage of.”

A spokesman for the Islamic Society said last month: “We are making the ­effort to bring understanding and ­harmony between our members and the wider community. We will be constructing a facility which will provide services to others outside our community. It’s not the council or local community but us with our good intentions that will be providing this.”

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

Crime & Court

James Croxall was caught at Dagenham Heathway tube station

Fare-dodger caught at Dagenham Heathway slammed with £89.70 fine

Trying to save a few quid proved disastrous for one man who was forced to cough up a hefty fine after dodging his train fare.

Read full story »

Business

David Salisbury with the winner James Furzer and Oliver Heath

Dagenham architect students wins top award for conservatory design

An architecture student from Dagenham could become a garden household name after winning an international competition to design the conservatory of the future.

Read full story »

Politics

The Saltire, the Scottish national flag, flying over Dagenham's Civic Centre last week. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Poll: Barking and Dagenham Council flies Scottish flag over Civic Centre in ‘solidarity’

Barking and Dagenham Council has nailed its colours to the mast by flying a Scottish flag over Dagenham Civic Centre.

Read full story »

Heritage

The Malthouse and Granary will be opening its doors on Saturday

Quiz: Explore Barking and Dagenham with Open House

It’s that time of year again, when you’re allowed to heartily indulge your instinct to have a good nosey around and no one will think twice about it.

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

Around the Web See all