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Mixed reactions as Broughton mosque application called-in by government

Posted on - 13th April, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
Design view of planned Broughton Mosque
Design view of planned Broughton Mosque

Preston City Council has expressed disappointment after the government called-in the planning application for the Broughton mosque.

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The application from Cassidy + Ashton had been approved by Preston City Council in early February.

However Broughton Parish Council strongly objected to the application and has welcomed the news that the government will make the final decision.

A spokesperson for the Parish Council said: “We are very happy that the Government has supported our request to call-in the unbalanced planning decision that Preston City Council made in favour of the mosque in our Parish.

“This reflects the Parish Council’s concerns, those of the local City Councillors and also that of our local MP Ben Wallace, that the correct planning processes had not been followed.

“Preston City Council themselves acknowledged that national, Lancashire, Preston and local planning policies were being broken or overridden in favour of a huge development on a completely unsuitable site.

“We welcome the opportunity to have an impartial review of the application and we hope that the weight of local opinion against this application is finally recognised and acknowledged.”

Opinion: Why Broughton Parish Council opposes new mosque plans

A letter to the Council from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has confirmed the decision to call-in the application.

The letter, dated 5 April, says: “The Secretary of State has decided to call-in this application. He accordingly directs, under his powers in section 77 of the 1990 Act, that the application shall be referred to him instead of being dealt with by the Local Planning Authority.”

Design view of planned Broughton mosque
Design view of planned Broughton mosque

Of particular interest to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, is the extent to which the proposals are consistent with the development plan for the area.

Chris Hayward, Director of Development and Housing at Preston City Council said: “The Secretary of State typically uses his powers sparingly. Very few applications are called-in every year and they normally relate to planning applications which are greater than local significance.

“We are therefore disappointed to be informed that the Secretary of State has called in the application for his own determination. We are currently awaiting further information from the Planning Inspectorate to assist with the process, which will be similar to an appeal.”

Preston City Council now has until mid-May to provide documentation to the Secretary of State.

The inquiry is set to begin in August and a decision will be made by the start of November.


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