Community use and place of worship enforced

The decision of a local authority in Berkshire to issue an enforcement notice requiring the use of an end of terrace dwelling as a place of worship and community centre to cease has been supported by an inspector who determined that it was out of character with the predominantly residential area and also compromised highway safety.

The appellant stated that the centre served over 100 children and adults with daily tuition taking place between 4.30pm and 6pm in classes of 40, with a maximum of 127 people within the building. At her site visit the inspector observed the large number of prayer stools and a petition signed by a significant number of people who attested to their use of the centre, which suggested that the facility was very well-used. In her opinion the level of activity was discordant with the residential character of the cul-de-sac which included on-street parking. This would also undermine highway safety and the appeal was dismissed.

Inspector: Sandra Prail; Written representations

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