10:45AM, Friday 02 August 2019
Plans for a new Islamic community centre have been refused by the Royal Borough.
Windsor Muslim Association (WMA) submitted an application in April to transform Ruddles Pool, a two-storey detached house in Maidenhead Road, into a place of worship, a venue that will host weekly sermons, coffee mornings and language classes.
Established in 2010, the WMA consists of about 30 families and ‘is in desperate need of a permanent venue for their growing congregation’. It has been searching for a permanent home in the area since 2016.
The group had to stop using the Manor Youth Centre, in Hanover Way, because it could not obtain a long-term lease from the property’s owner.
In 2015 it submitted an application for a site in Dedworth Road but the plans were withdrawn at the request of an officer ‘due to
insufficient level of parking at the site’ and faced opposition from a 1,000-strong residents’ petition.
The new plans included 26 car parking spaces.
Reasons stated for the refusal include the harm caused to the greenbelt and that it would be out of keeping with the area’s residential character.
It was also stated that an increase in people and vehicle movements would lead to ‘a significant increase in noise pollution’ and anticipated growth would lead to traffic build-up and congestion ‘on an already busy Maidenhead Road’.
When speaking to the Express in May, WMA chairman Mohammed Ariff said he was confident the application would be approved as the location had been ‘carefully selected’.
Yesterday (Thursday) he said he did not want to comment on the council’s refusal at this stage.
Ward councillor Wisdom Da Costa (Ind, Clewer & Dedworth West) said: “All I can really say is I trust the decision has been made within planning regulations and I have every confidence that’s the case.”
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