Neighbours’ fury as council allows tiny bungalow to be used as an ‘illegal’ mosque for 200 worshippers
Islamic group insisted two-bedroom property was a home ‘used for the occasional meeting’
Now they say it is being used as a community centre – and apply for taxpayer funding to put on classes
Property was extended without planning permission
Neighbours have complained about noise, rubbish and extra traffic
**** Stealth jihad in Southend,Essex as muslims illegally turn a tiny bungalow into a mosque for up to 200, which they have extended without the relevant planning permission. You can understand the local residents being furious as despite many complaints the council havent shut it down. Im sure if anyone else in the street had built an extension the council would be quick enough round telling them to demolish it. Same goes for any off the other issues in story. What about the health and safety and environment laws everyone else has to adhere to?? Time and time again we see this two tier system where muslims seem to get special treatment from authority’s probably in fear of being branded racist thanks to political correctness gone mad. They have now even had the cheek to ask for taxpayers money to run religious classes there. No doubt they will get it aswell at the expense of maybe Southends bins only being emptied once every 2 weeks or some other sacrifice.****
By ROB COOPER PUBLISHED: 13:46, 2 July 2012 | UPDATED: 18:35, 2 July 2012
A council has come under fire after an Islamic group extended a tiny two-bedroom bungalow to turn it into an ‘illegal’ mosque for 200 worshippers.
Residents are furious after being forced to endure noise at all hours of the day, congestion and bin bags strewn across the front garden.
Crowds of between 50 and 120 people gather at the mosque three times each week – and for big celebrations such as Eid there are several hundred.
The group bought the property in Westcliff, Essex, three years ago and extended it without planning permission and turning it into a mosque.
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Islamic centre: The tiny two-bedroom property which has been used as a mosque ‘illegally’ for the last two years despite objections from neighbours in Westcliff, Essex
Despite hundreds of complaints to Southend Council, officers allowed the cramped property to be used as a place of worship ‘illegally’ after being told it was a family home used to host the odd community meeting.
But despite the official denials, the group had even posted YouTube videos of a large group of people chanting and worshipping inside the property.
A council worker who visited spotted 40 bin bags stacked up outside the property just before Christmas last year.
Kelly Phipps, a single mother, 33, who lives across the road from the makeshift mosque, said: ‘During Ramadan there were hundreds and hundreds of people turning up and the sheer volume caused havoc.
‘People would park up on the pavement and the road became really congested – I can’t see why the council didn’t take action sooner. I think they’re worried that if they try to boot them out they will play the race card.
‘But it’s got nothing to do with that – I’ve got no problem with them it’s just the general noise and inconsiderate parking which I object to. A mosque isn’t suitable for a residential road like this.’
Gathering: A large group of worshippers crowded into the extended two-bedroom bungalow in Westcliff, Essex
The Jaafriya Islamic Welfare Centre applied for council taxpayer funding to run religious celebrations and education classes at the property along with retrospective planning permission for the 20ft extension at the rear.
Council planning documents said neighbours claim between 50 and 120 people would regularly visit the property.
Their application was rejected last week – but they have 28 days to appeal and the process could drag on for months. If they lose an appeal, the mosque will be forced to shutdown and the extension could be pulled down.
The property was bought in December 2009 for £140,000 by its current owners who have built a 20ft extension at the back.
Residential street: The ‘illegal’ mosque in Westcliff, Essex, which the council had received hundreds of complaints about
Neighbour Ron Frood, 62, said: ‘This is supposed to be a residential area but we see people coming and going all day long.
‘People often arrive with plates of food and then the next day the bin bags are just thrown outside attracting rats and foxes.
‘I have accepted that I don’t really think anything will change to be honest as they’ve been allowed to get away with it for so long.’
Local councillor Martin Terry said: ‘Over a long period of time there has been a constant stream of complaints about what is essentially a bungalow being used as a mosque.
‘There have been all sorts of denials about this, but that is what it is.
‘This is a residential property and there is far more activity going on than there should be.
‘It doesn’t matter what religion you are – you have to play by the rules and stick to the law.’
No one at the Jaafriya Islamic Welfare Centre was available for comment.
Disruption: Neighbours have said 200 people cram into the property which has led to a large increase in traffic in the area
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