Plan for Islamic community centre in Grantham is refused

The proposed Islamic centre in Grantham. EMN-140714-104507001
The proposed Islamic centre in Grantham. EMN-140714-104507001
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A controversial application to build an Islamic community centre in Grantham has been refused.

The Grantham Muslim Community Association wanted to build the centre on Mowbeck Way near the waste and recycling centre.

Residents opposed the plan because it was close to homes and said access to the site was inadequate.

Coun Jean Taylor, who represents St John’s ward, said: “I am sure that all of the residents who live around the area will be extremely delighted. It has been 10 months of lobbying on behalf of the residents and they have been concerned about parking problems and more traffic on the streets.

“We are extremely pleased this has come to a satisfactory conclusion for the residents.”

Planning officers said the details submitted in the plan were inadequate especially with regard to public and pedestrian safety and car parking facilities.

A spokesman added: “The lack of information makes it difficult for the Highway Authority to assess the application and hence it would be detrimental to highway safety. A community use in such close proximity to established commercial uses is likely to result in conflict between future occupiers of the community centre and existing commercial operations.”

In March Mark Williets, head of development and growth at SKDC, told the development control committee: “This particular application is unlikely to come before members for a couple of reasons. Number one is that yesterday we wrote to them to invite them to withdraw the application. It’s quite clear the application was made describing the building as a community centre but a recent travel plan received last month is talking about a place of worship and these are very different things in planning terms.

“Reason two is a technical reason – it will be made invalid. Technically, the red edge of the application site, while it abuts a highway, it does not abut an adopted highway. So, Lincolnshire County Council has directed that we should make the application invalid on that basis.”