Proposed Mosque and Islamic Centre - Nash Mills /Bennetts End - your right to ASK and KNOW

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In case you are not aware Dacorum has received a planning application for a Mosque and Islamic Centre at the former Methodist Church site next to the Denes Shopping Centre on Barnacres Road in Nash Mills/Bennetts End. The neighbour and standard consultation expiry date is Thursday 16 November 2017. Has Dacorum given you sufficient notification of this major venue being proposed? 

PLEASE NOTE DUE TO STRONG SUPPORT FOR THIS PETITION AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA INTEREST (HEMEL HEMPSTEAD COMMUNITY FACEBOOK PAGE) THE CONSULTATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN CHANGED TO

WEDS 29TH NOVEMBER 2017

THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN.

Dacorum has only consulted 19 addresses and allowed 2.5 weeks for a response. There are many documents to access, download and consider. Should YOU have been consulted? Should you have been given longer to comment on this important proposed development and its potential impact on traffic, parking and noise in the immediate area and well beyond?

The facts: The building:

  • 3 stories incorporating prayer halls on two levels for 520 seated worshippers
  • a multi-purpose community hall and 4 classrooms
  • 30 parking spaces and 5 disabled parking spaces
  • 2 bedrooms, a living area, shower room and bathroom/kitchen area
  • community dining area and library
  • the outward appearance does not appear to be in keeping with other buildings in the area and is in close proximity to housing.

The facts: Usage:  

It is noted that 20-30 persons will attend prayer meetings 5 times a day including during antisocial hours (see below) and at least 100 people for Friday lunchtime meetings. These figures are doubled during the month of Ramadan.Other uses include weddings, funerals and 4 classrooms but there are no available usage figures for these events or for when there are several activities occurring at the same time.Existing mosques/Islamic centres in the area and outside may see a decline in usage once the building is in use. Identification of likely numbers moving across are  not provided by the planning applicant.There is no mention of visiting speakers (as occurs with other Mosques) which can draw attendees from outside Dacorum.

The facts: Times of prayer

  • Summer   03.05   13.10  18.40  21.15  21.10
  • Winter       06.25   12.05  18.40  21.15  23.10

Note: times change during the year according to the position of the sun.

The facts:  Parking and congestion

  • 30 parking spaces and 5 disabled spaces
  • Parking is to be managed by a Parking Management Plan with controlled access to the car park for those who have necessity to use on-site parking or for those with a parking permit
  • All other visitors will have to park elsewhere
  • A Faith Travel Plan has been submitted showing how attendees can reach the Mosque from other areas further afield (by car, bus, train and cycle) suggesting  the potential for more attendees than the estimated numbers, for which there is no supporting documentation on how this number was reached.
  • A Voluntary No Parking Zone on the residential streets immediately surrounding the Mosque - how will this be controlled? It is assumed that attendees will park in the streets outside the Zone, thus affecting those areas.
  • The Mosque's own Marshalls to direct cars to other off-street car parks at Bennetts End shops (50), Apsley Mills Retail Park (300) and Durrants Hill Road (61). They are assuming that these car parks will have spaces at the relevant times.

 

Note: it is assumed that drivers will park in these car parks, or in the streets outside the Voluntary Parking Zone, and walk to the Mosque in all weathers for quite a distance, thus affecting streets further afield from the Mosque.

How to have your voice heard / find out more

  • Are you interested in finding out more? Or are you concerned about any of the information above?
  • Would you like to know more about what is being planned for the site?
  • Perhaps you would like to find if the building is being designed to meet the needs of the wider community (inside and outside Dacorum), rather than Nash Mills?
  • Surrounding approach roads are also major bus routes. Do you have concerns about traffic flow?
  • Do you have concerns about noise levels?
  • Are you interested in the usage of the Mosque apart from prayer meetings?
  • Do you think a building seating 500+ people is appropriate for attendees averaging no more than 100?

If so, or you have any other concerns then you can contact Dacorum Borough Planning Department by letter or by email quoting the reference number 4/01584/17/MFA.

You can access the local planning website and all the associated documents at:

http://www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/planning-development/planning-applications/search-planning-applications

and enter the planning reference number to view the plans and add comments and questions.

You can also raise any questions or concerns with

  • Your MP - The Right Honourable Sir Mike Penning (tel: 01442 251126, email: mike@penning4hemel.com)
  • Bennett's End Councillor - John Burnie (tel: 07738 398165, email: John.Burnie@dacorum.gov.uk)
  • Nash Mills Councillor - Jan Maddern (tel: 07711 066696, email: Jan.Maddern@dacorum.gov.uk.

Remember - this is your home and your local community and you have a right to know what is planned for your neighbourhood. Your local MP and councillors are voted by you to represent you and there will be local elections next May.   

In the past there was a petition raised opposing the placing of an Islamic Centre on this site - this gained 1028 followers and was sent to the Council - but this is no longer active and no longer relevant to the new application.

Please be aware that, as with all applications, residents should ensure that their comments and concerns should not aim to incite any form of negative emotions which would result in their comments and concerns being removed or ignored. Please use your rights sensibly and with understanding.

If you have concerns and/or wish to oppose this development please sign this petition.

 

 

 

 

 

   



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