SOUTH Shore residents celebrated a “victory for democracy” as controversial plans for a mosque were refused by town hall chiefs.
An application for retrospective planning permission for the Noor-A-Madina Mosque on Waterloo Road – a former takeaway – was turned down on grounds of a lack of car parking at Blackpool Town Hall last night.
The plans had met with a storm of protest from more than 300 business owners and residents who had claimed the mosque was operating illegally.
Many cheered from the public gallery as six members of the planning committee voted to refuse the plans and four abstained.
Today they spoke of their joy.
Jeremy Smith, owner of Karl Smith Car Sales which is next to the mosque site, said: “I’m very much relieved this has been refused, this is a great day for democracy.
“Our local councillors have been magnificent and seen this scheme for what it could have been.
“I’m delighted residents have been heard.“
Coun Peter Evans spoke of his concerns about car parking but also about the way the application had been handled by Tasurraf Shah who owns the site.
He said: “It seem strange to me Mrs Shah stood as a candidate for election but yet showed such as flagrant disregard for residents and planning laws in this country.
“I would also recommend a building inspector should look at the site as it seems to me internal walls have been removed and it is in an extremely poor condition.”
Today Mrs Shah has vowed to appeal against the decision describing it as a “minor set-back”.
FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE TUESDAY’S GAZETTE