Dudley mosque building on hold for appeal
Building work is on hold for a controversial mosque in Dudley as leaders urge council bosses to negotiate a conclusion over the earmarked site in the wake of plans being given the go-ahead.
Planning committee members voted five to three in favour of the proposals during a meeting earlier this week which gives permission to build the mosque on a site, off Hall Street.
But Dudley Council is bidding to buy back the land through the High Court – a move Dudley Muslim Association is appealing against.
Dudley Muslim Association director Dr Khurshid Ahmed today he was 'delighted' the planning application had finally been approved but stressed the High Court appeal needed to now be resolved. He is now urging council bosses to 'reflect' and hold talks.
He said the decision by the committee was justification for the scheme to not be delayed further.
Dr Ahmed said building work would be on hold until the resolution of the High Court case which is due to take place early next year.
"We hope that the council will now reflect on its position in light of the planning committee's decision and try to reach an amicable agreement so that we can put this whole saga to bed," he said. "While the court case is happening, no work can take place. We would like to be able to negotiate.
"The ball is in their court over the case.
"I'm delighted that the planning application was approved. This has give us fresh impetus to work on the project," he said.
Dr Ahmed added: "We are part of the community and we would like peace and harmony over this issue and for it to be resolved. Hopefully this can be as soon as possible."
No firm date has been set for the court date at this stage.
The mosque development also includes a 120-space two-storey car park, a sports centre, an enterprise and education centre and a community centre.
Proposals for the mosque have sparked controversy with petitions signed by around 85,000 people tabled against earlier plans.
Hundreds of people had objected to the latest plans submitted in September ahead of the application being discussed. People packed into the public gallery in the chamber at Dudley Council House to hear the debate over the planning application on Monday. Some people were unable to get inside after the 50 spaces were filled.