Group set up to fight mosque bid

No mosque here 4Campaigners have set up a crisis group to plan a fresh attack on proposals to build an £18 million mosque in Dudley.

Malcolm Davis, former councillor for St James’ ward, says his phone has been ringing off the hook with residents complaining about the planning inspector’s decision to overturn the council’s rejection of the scheme. The authority had thrown out the plans to create a mosque and community centre on derelict land in Hall Street. The matter will now go to a public inquiry in June.

Mr Davis said public feeling against the mosque was just as strong as when the proposals originally emerged. Some 70 petitions containing more than 22,000 signatures were handed to the council from people protesting against the plans. “We have set up a working party and I will be asking everybody who wants to object to the mosque plan to turn up that night for the hearing, even if it brings the town to a complete standstill.”

Mr Davis has blasted the inspectorate’s decision to refer the plan to a public inquiry as “a coward’s way out”. He said: “I’m adamant the people of Dudley don’t want that thing there…. It will destroy the concept of a lovely medieval market town.”

Express and Star, 19 February 2008