Mosque could be built on former Sanofi site in Dagenham

Aerial photo of the former Sanofi site. A Mosque could be built on the left side

Aerial photo of the former Sanofi site. A Mosque could be built on the left side - Credit: Archant

A mosque could be built on the former Sanofi site as part of plans to create extra funding for a struggling community club.

When the pharmaceutical giants left the site in 2013, 50 acres of land was donated to the borough – now leased to the May and Baker Eastbrook Community Club.

Due to limited funds to manage the facilities, the group is exploring other avenues including the creation of a single-storey mosque for rent, with indoor cricket space.

Trustees say they were approached by Barking and Dagenham Council, on behalf of Barking Mosque, and held a meeting with council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell – plus a representative from the borough’s planning department – on Tuesday, September 29.

Trustees then voted unanimously to agree in principal to the siting of the building adjacent to the north east area of the car park, and possibly on the car park, subject to planning applications.

Chairman of the trustees, Steve Thompson, 55, said: “It’s a large facility and very expensive to run – it’s a struggle.

“We agreed in principal to the siting of a facility which could be used for prayer meetings but could also be used for multi-use, subject to a proper planning application.

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“It’s a thriving place at the moment, but we need it to be used more – more people need to be using the facility to secure it.”

The space is used for training by Dagenham and Redbridge FC’s first team, Barking and Dagenham College for both football and rugby and Elutec College, alongside May and Baker teams.

The club is also in early talks with Elutec and the council about building an all-weather floodlit training facility.

Trustee Peter Harris was not at the meeting but says residents have contacted him about it.

“The fact that local residents are hearing this via hearsay and rumour and not from the council itself is disgraceful,” he said.

“I call upon Darren Rodwell and Barking and Dagenham Council to come clean and communicate in full with residents and ward councillors about this proposal as a matter of urgency.”

The council declined to comment, saying it was a matter for the trustees of the club.