Education, community and worship within shop unit rejected

The change of use of the ground floor of premises within a local shopping centre in east London for education, community support, counselling and as a place of worship would undermine the amenity of local residents and compromise highway safety, an inspector has concluded, despite accepting that it would be beneficial for the Muslim community.

The appellant stated that the use would operate until 10.30pm on any day, with a maximum of approximately 20 people attending. Given the limited size of the premises the inspector considered it quite likely that some people would congregate outside and late into the evening when residents living above the parade were at home. Soundproofing the main building would not mitigate external noise and activity and this would be compounded by traffic movements, with users being dropped off and collected. Such movements would also occur along a busy main road with parking restrictions which would cause hazards for other users. Despite being focused on meeting the needs of the local Muslim community the inspector accepted that the use would not undermine community cohesion, but this did not justify allowing the appeal.

Inspector: Gary Deane; Written representations

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