02:07PM, Wednesday 07 August 2019
The Windsor Muslim Association (WMA) could launch an appeal to the Government over the Royal Borough’s decision to refuse its application for an Islamic community centre.
The group’s hopes of securing a permanent place of worship in Windsor were dashed last week when council planning officers rejected plans for a new facility at Ruddles Pool, Maidenhead Road.
A spokeswoman for ET Planning, who drew up the plans, said the WMA is ‘very disappointed’ with the council’s decision and is exploring the possibility of lodging an appeal to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
A statement said: “The application followed detailed pre-application discussions with the planning department and after a lengthy negotiation process with officers during the course of the application where additional information was submitted to respond to various queries.
“Despite such negotiations, the council didn’t feel it could support this local community group and the work that they do.
“Consequently, the WMA, in consultation with their professional advisors, are exploring exercising their right of appeal to the Secretary of State.”
The proposed development at Ruddles Pool included plans to convert a two-storey detached house into a venue that could host weekly sermons, coffee mornings and language classes.
But planning officers said no evidence had been provided to demonstrate it was essential for the facility to be built in a residential area.
They also raised concerns over an increase in people and vehicles visiting the site leading to a ‘significant increase in noise pollution’.
The refusal means the wait goes on for the group to find a permanent home.
Since forming in 2010, it has already been rebuffed in an attempt to create a new community centre in Dedworth Road and seen talks for a long-term lease at the Manor Youth centre, in Hanover Way, fall through.
The Express has approached the Royal Borough for comment.
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