Temporary mosque built in Barking illegally
- Credit: Archant
A temporary mosque is being constructed in Barking without planning permission, despite some local objection.
The place of worship, in Ripple Road, will be specifically for Friday afternoon prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Crafted by a team of volunteers from the Masjid-e-Umar mosque opposite, the building – set to be completed within two weeks – is said to hold up to 120 worshipers while the original building undergoes refurbishment.
Barking and Dagenham Council have given the owners two weeks to submit the relevant paperwork, before any action is taken.
Martin Kolberg, 34, manager of Magic Touch hair salon, also in Ripple Road, is worried the illegal development will impact upon his business.
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“There was no warning of anything happening, no one came round to see us, we just saw the building work start up one day so I wasn’t too happy about that,” he said.
“Having lots of people on the street outside will discourage customers, especially if they’re going to be washing their feet outside.
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“It’s not very hygienic next to a hair salon.”
Manager of nearby Ripple Road restaurant Portvgalia, Julie Csador, 52, is also concerned.
“Last week was really, really bad,” she said. “The pavement was really dirty because of the building work.
“If I don’t clean the pavement outside my cafe the council would fine me.
“I have nothing against the religion but they shouldn’t be building there.
“The parking is already bad for residents but it will just get even crazier.”
But courier Ali Khan, 35, from Redbridge, who worships at the current mosque on occasions, insists there is a great need for the building among the local community.
“It’s not going to be used every day, just for Friday prayers, but it’s absolutely necessary,” he said. “Like people going to church on a Sunday.
“It’s really unfair from the council, it’s just going to be open for about half an hour a week.”
Chairman of the Ripple Road mosque Mohammud Islam, 46, said: “The current building is being redeveloped so we need somewhere to go.
“Whatever the council want us to do we will do.”
A council spokesman said: “They have been informed that whether or not it is a temporary structure, they will still require permission as both planning and building regulations need to be complied with.
“In addition, they have been given 28 days in which to submit a planning application for temporary use of the site and 14 days in to submit a regularisation application in relation to Building Control regulations.
“Failure to comply with these deadlines will see the council take formal action and issue appropriate notices.”