A former pharmaceuticals plant in Barking in East London could be transformed into a mosque according to plans seen by Breitbart London, with the 50-acre site currently leased by a local community club being pressured by the local, Labour-run council to allow the project to go ahead.
The site, formerly the home of French pharmaceuticals manufacturer Sanofi, was leased to the May and Baker Eastbrook Community Club (MBECC) which recently held a meeting of its trustees. The minutes of the meeting read: “[REDACTED] reported on an approach from LBBD (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham) [council] about the proposed siting of a Mosque in the area adjacent to the north east area of the car park.
“A meeting was held earlier in the day at MBECC with Darren Rodwell (Leader of LBBD), [REDACTED] and a person from Planning. [REDACTED] attended. [REDACTED] was delayed and therefore unable to attend. [REDACTED] reported although it was early days in the planning and local consultation process the Council have indicated that MBECC may be able to receive a rent from the Mosque if it was built.
“Trustees discussed this project. It was agreed that this could be beneficial to MBECC and the community.”
But members of the local community have been quite outspoken against the plans, which the council itself has not yet commented upon.
Peter Harris, one of the MBECC trustees told the Barking and Dagenham Post: “The fact that local residents are hearing this via hearsay and rumour and not from the council itself is disgraceful.”
“I call upon Darren Rodwell and Barking and Dagenham Council to come clean and communicate in full with residents and ward councillors about this proposal as a matter of urgency.”
Chairman of MBECC Steve Thompson said: “It’s a large facility and very expensive to run – it’s a struggle.
“We agreed in principal to the siting of a facility which could be used for prayer meetings but could also be used for multi-use, subject to a proper planning application.
“It’s a thriving place at the moment, but we need it to be used more – more people need to be using the facility to secure it.”
Residents told Breitbart London that the plans have been “kept secret by the council” and that the issue was very “emotive”.
One said that residents were “concerned” that the site, which is used as a sports facility, would be irreversibly changed from its primary purpose.
The site has failed to attract investment since Sanofi pulled out in 2013, with an original expectation that supermarket chain Sainsburys would take some of the space, with others being left for retail developments and office space.
The introduction of a mosque into the plans is similar to a situation Breitbart London reported on in August, in a nearby London borough, where significant retail space is being used as a mosque against public wishes.