Abbey Mills mosque in East London
An Islamic group is set to lose a long-drawn battle to build a new 290,000-square-foot “mega mosque”.
Tablighi Jamaat’s plans for a mosque with 190-foot minarets near the Olympic Park in east London would have accommodated up to 9,300 worshippers in two main gender-segregated prayer halls and a further 2,000 in a separate hall.
The scheme, officially known as the Abbey Mills Markaz or the Riverine Centre, was rejected by the local Newham council of the area back in December 2012 with councillors saying the building was too large and would harm their plans for a mixed-use neighbourhood.
But Tablighi Jamaat appealed, taking the application to a three-week public inquiry last year. The inquiry inspector’s report was submitted to the UK government in January this year.
‘The Sunday Telegraph’ has quoted sources saying that UK communities secretary Greg Clark has now made the final decision to block the scheme and a public announcement is expected shortly.
Alan Craig, a former Newham councillor who led the campaign against the mosque, said: “This is fantastic news. For a decade and a half, Tablighi Jamaat has pulled out every stop to get its way, but at last the spectre is over.”
Tablighi Jamaat already has a temporary mosque for 2,500 worshippers on the site, a former chemical works, which it has owned since 1996.