Conditions breached by mosque use given evidence

A claim that a building in Essex was not being used as a mosque was rejected by an inspector who concluded that a planning permission had been partially implemented and as a consequence the use was prohibited by a condition.

The consent authorised various uses within the building but one condition stipulated that the main hall should only be used as a tuition and community centre and not as a place of worship. In seeking to argue that there had not been a breach of planning control the appellant asserted that the condition did not apply because the consent had not been implemented and no religious gatherings occurred. This was contradicted by council evidence which showed a significant number of people entering and leaving the building at prayer times.

A leaflet referred to the need for people attending the site to dress modestly when entering the mosque the inspector noted and this was corroborated by visits from council officers who witnessed large numbers of people attending the premises. Prayers could be heard through the use of amplified equipment and the inspector decided that the appellant’s claims were without merit. The consent had at least in part been implemented and the condition restricting religious use applied.

Inspector: Felix Bourne; Written representations

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