Halesowen mosque minaret application refused by Dudley Council

How the minarets and dome would have looked

How the minarets and dome would have looked

First published in News
Last updated

HUNDREDS of objections have scuppered plans to build two 21 foot minarets and a dome on a Halesowen mosque.

Dudley Council planning officers refused the application from The Baitul Ghafoor Mosque, Long Lane, before the development control committee stage.

A 225 name petition calling for the application to be refused was handed into Dudley Council and local councillors also registered their objections.

Halesowen North Councillor Karen Shakespeare said: "I am pleased this planning application has been refused and I know local residents will be pleased too.

"The minarets would have had a strong visual impact and would have affected the skyline."

She added: "The Dudley Central Mosque scaled back its plans without any problem to its worshippers, they can enjoy worship without having turrets and domes on the building.

"The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has done some really good work in the community and it would have been a shame if this application would have had a negative impact with residents."

As well as the visual impact of the new minarets and dome there were also objections the renovation would attract more visitors causing increased noise and traffic.

The Ahmadiyya Mosque opened two years ago after the AMA took over a Methodist church on the site.

Dr Muhammad Ashraf, from the mosque, has vowed to appeal the decision to block the building of the minarets.

Comments (15)

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4:44pm Mon 21 Jul 14

mucklow hill resident says...

Blimy, I'm amazed its been refused :0
Blimy, I'm amazed its been refused :0 mucklow hill resident
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Sam Vimes says...

29 foot? Are they telescopic? They were 21 foot a couple of weeks ago. its good to see they're tolerating the views of, learning from and working with the local community by appealing immediately.
29 foot? Are they telescopic? They were 21 foot a couple of weeks ago. its good to see they're tolerating the views of, learning from and working with the local community by appealing immediately. Sam Vimes
  • Score: 7

8:39am Tue 22 Jul 14

Wiggyboom1981+1 says...

What a stupid decision. They have been doing great work within the community. Making themselves an asset to the area and being a positive influence. What does the council go and do and the locals ?? They stop them from improving the building. It would be a spectacle. An improvement. The skyline of that particular area is hardly an area of outstanding beauty. I think Minarets would be a striking and impressive sight. And if they do eventually end up attracting more visitors and traffic increases surely that would suggest local businesses could potentially benefit too from passing trade.
This is a narrow minded decision by the council there will be as many people upset by this decision as there will be happy. It's a sad state of affairs when people can't want to improve a building of worship anymore.

Maybe we should start tearing down the spires of the churches?? Or what about the planning objections to the Asda Carpark and the changes that did to the skyline? What about the firestation being closed down so the land could be sold off to housing developers, what about the objections to that?? Were the council happy to make a decision based on those objections??

People of Halesowen make me laugh. You all think you want what's best for Halesowen but really you just want what is best for you as individuals.

Maybe I should buy the Bike centre by the Island near long lane and turn it into Jedi temple and really cause a fuss!!!!
What a stupid decision. They have been doing great work within the community. Making themselves an asset to the area and being a positive influence. What does the council go and do and the locals ?? They stop them from improving the building. It would be a spectacle. An improvement. The skyline of that particular area is hardly an area of outstanding beauty. I think Minarets would be a striking and impressive sight. And if they do eventually end up attracting more visitors and traffic increases surely that would suggest local businesses could potentially benefit too from passing trade. This is a narrow minded decision by the council there will be as many people upset by this decision as there will be happy. It's a sad state of affairs when people can't want to improve a building of worship anymore. Maybe we should start tearing down the spires of the churches?? Or what about the planning objections to the Asda Carpark and the changes that did to the skyline? What about the firestation being closed down so the land could be sold off to housing developers, what about the objections to that?? Were the council happy to make a decision based on those objections?? People of Halesowen make me laugh. You all think you want what's best for Halesowen but really you just want what is best for you as individuals. Maybe I should buy the Bike centre by the Island near long lane and turn it into Jedi temple and really cause a fuss!!!! Wiggyboom1981+1
  • Score: -18

1:48pm Tue 22 Jul 14

mucklow hill resident says...

At least a jedi temple wouldn't have a minaret.
btw could anyone build a church of any denomination in Mecca ?
I don't think so do you ?
And to quote wiki -- "The first mosques had no minarets, and even nowadays the most conservative Islamic movements, like Wahhabis, avoid building minarets, seeing them as ostentatious and hazardous in case of collapse"
Therefor a Mosque does NOT need a Minaret to call the faithful to prayer
At least a jedi temple wouldn't have a minaret. btw could anyone build a church of any denomination in Mecca ? I don't think so do you ? And to quote wiki -- "The first mosques had no minarets, and even nowadays the most conservative Islamic movements, like Wahhabis, avoid building minarets, seeing them as ostentatious and hazardous in case of collapse" Therefor a Mosque does NOT need a Minaret to call the faithful to prayer mucklow hill resident
  • Score: 7

2:07pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Wiggyboom1981+1 says...

Actually my Jedi temple would have 4 minarets it would look amazing.

just because Mecca does not allow other buildings of faith doesn't mean the world has to follow suit. We have the freedom of choice here and we can worship who and how we like. Your argument of if they don't do it we shouldn't do it is childish at best.

Is the mosque part of the Wahhabis movement??

I would love to live in an area that was accepting of all religions and accepting of their places of worship. I only hope Halesowen starts to become a bit more switched on to what the Mosque and other religious groups brings to the area.

Diversity is the lifeblood of Great Britain. Without it we'd just be britain.
Actually my Jedi temple would have 4 minarets it would look amazing. just because Mecca does not allow other buildings of faith doesn't mean the world has to follow suit. We have the freedom of choice here and we can worship who and how we like. Your argument of if they don't do it we shouldn't do it is childish at best. Is the mosque part of the Wahhabis movement?? I would love to live in an area that was accepting of all religions and accepting of their places of worship. I only hope Halesowen starts to become a bit more switched on to what the Mosque and other religious groups brings to the area. Diversity is the lifeblood of Great Britain. Without it we'd just be britain. Wiggyboom1981+1
  • Score: -11

2:51pm Tue 22 Jul 14

mucklow hill resident says...

Dudley council have exercised their freedom of choice and have refused the building of a Minaret.
This area does accept everybody of any religion and if you don't like what the council says well go elsewhere, there's plenty of other areas that have Mosques with Minarets. You don't need one and this area doe's not want one...
Dudley council have exercised their freedom of choice and have refused the building of a Minaret. This area does accept everybody of any religion and if you don't like what the council says well go elsewhere, there's plenty of other areas that have Mosques with Minarets. You don't need one and this area doe's not want one... mucklow hill resident
  • Score: 10

3:22pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Rashid.M says...

"btw could anyone build a church of any denomination in Mecca ?"

Certainly this mosque couldn't have been built in Mecca. Saudi Arabia is one of several countries where Ahmadi Muslims are outlawed and/or persecuted for their beliefs. The Ahmadi's current spiritual leader lives in London, unable to return to his home country of Pakistan where Ahmadis continue to be killed by religious fanatics, and where the country's constitution declares them as heretics. Ahmadis are forbidden to retaliate with violence, in keeping with their motto of 'Love for all, Hatred for none'.

"The first mosques had no minarets..."

And The first churches had no spires. No, minarets are not a religious requirement. But the more pertinent question is, why should or shouldn't someone be free to build them.

The Ahmadiyya Community has a global reputation for peace and community service unmatched by any other Muslim sect. They are at the forefront of fighting religious extremism through scholarly rebuttal and interfaith dialogue. Minaret or no minaret, I have every confidence that the other residents of Halesowen will come to appreciate and value the presence of Ahmadis, should they allow themselves the opportunity to interact with them.
"btw could anyone build a church of any denomination in Mecca ?" Certainly this mosque couldn't have been built in Mecca. Saudi Arabia is one of several countries where Ahmadi Muslims are outlawed and/or persecuted for their beliefs. The Ahmadi's current spiritual leader lives in London, unable to return to his home country of Pakistan where Ahmadis continue to be killed by religious fanatics, and where the country's constitution declares them as heretics. Ahmadis are forbidden to retaliate with violence, in keeping with their motto of 'Love for all, Hatred for none'. "The first mosques had no minarets..." And The first churches had no spires. No, minarets are not a religious requirement. But the more pertinent question is, why should or shouldn't someone be free to build them. The Ahmadiyya Community has a global reputation for peace and community service unmatched by any other Muslim sect. They are at the forefront of fighting religious extremism through scholarly rebuttal and interfaith dialogue. Minaret or no minaret, I have every confidence that the other residents of Halesowen will come to appreciate and value the presence of Ahmadis, should they allow themselves the opportunity to interact with them. Rashid.M
  • Score: -7

4:47pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Wiggyboom1981+1 says...

Mucklow Hill resident. I am not a muslim, in fact I am atheist, I have no belief system other than knowledge and belief in my own actions. So your mildly offensive comments mean nothing to me. You should maybe widen your own thinking. Who says they don't need a mosques with minarets. Is that your expert opinion or your prejudiced opinion??
Mucklow Hill resident. I am not a muslim, in fact I am atheist, I have no belief system other than knowledge and belief in my own actions. So your mildly offensive comments mean nothing to me. You should maybe widen your own thinking. Who says they don't need a mosques with minarets. Is that your expert opinion or your prejudiced opinion?? Wiggyboom1981+1
  • Score: -5

6:22pm Wed 23 Jul 14

ukip-halesowen says...

I would like to say a few words on the recent article regarding the Ahmadiyya Mosque in the Express & Star 21/7/14
The petition of 225 residents that was against the application was mainly done by myself Cllr Stuart Henley & John Marshall (next yrs local candidate) This all started when yourselves (Halesowen News) notified myself of the building application. After being notified of this I had a leaflet printed to get the news out to local residents to let them know about it. I also contacted Toby at the Ahmadiyya Mosque to arrange a meeting to discuss the application and see what we could do in the interest of all. After the meeting we arranged a public meeting so anyone could visit and ask questions about the application and see the plans. At the meeting most of the residents who attended were against the full application and I came up with an idea to have just the dome put on to the building and not the minarets so all could meet half way. The residents were in full support of this but not the AMA.

Now the appeal has been refused it would be good to see all come together and compromise on just the dome which will still see the once Methodist church have an Islamic symbol and hopefully keep everyone happy. All can then move on in peace, loyalty and respect working close for future events in the community.
Dr Muhammad Ashraf from the Ahmadiyya Association quoted in the E&S “The local people don’t know the facts. Islam is a peaceful religion and the Muslims here are peace loving people, we do a lot for the community.”
Dr Ashraf claims that hatred towards the religion is more of a reason than the effects on the landscape.
“We will be appealing. Justice is for everybody not just a few people. All we are asking for is the symbols of our community, they are the symbols of an Islamic mosque, just like a church spire. I think the application has not been assessed properly by the council.”
I totally agree that the Ahmadiyya Muslims do, do a lot of good for the community which local residents are pleased with. They do not have any issues with the AMA in anyway just the planned building application. The days are in history when churches were built with spires, new church builds are rarely built with spires as these are no longer needed to call people to prayer, the mosques need to follow suit. These builds are mainly in residential areas where the builds do not fit in towering over homes. Residents would object if there was a church in the place of Long Lanes Ahmadiyya Mosque wishing to build a spire to the same height of the proposed minarets. It is definitely not hatred towards the religion and using words like these will only turn people against the AMA which is not what anyone wants. People just want a building to fit in with the area and the AMA to carry on with the great work they do and to carry on the words they preach “Loyalty, Freedom, Equality, Respect and Peace.

Cllr Stuart Henley
Halesowen North

Ps we are at the present time getting a petition to get residents thoughts on a telecommunications mast erected on the junction of Narrow Lane and Oak Barn Road.
I would like to say a few words on the recent article regarding the Ahmadiyya Mosque in the Express & Star 21/7/14 The petition of 225 residents that was against the application was mainly done by myself Cllr Stuart Henley & John Marshall (next yrs local candidate) This all started when yourselves (Halesowen News) notified myself of the building application. After being notified of this I had a leaflet printed to get the news out to local residents to let them know about it. I also contacted Toby at the Ahmadiyya Mosque to arrange a meeting to discuss the application and see what we could do in the interest of all. After the meeting we arranged a public meeting so anyone could visit and ask questions about the application and see the plans. At the meeting most of the residents who attended were against the full application and I came up with an idea to have just the dome put on to the building and not the minarets so all could meet half way. The residents were in full support of this but not the AMA. Now the appeal has been refused it would be good to see all come together and compromise on just the dome which will still see the once Methodist church have an Islamic symbol and hopefully keep everyone happy. All can then move on in peace, loyalty and respect working close for future events in the community. Dr Muhammad Ashraf from the Ahmadiyya Association quoted in the E&S “The local people don’t know the facts. Islam is a peaceful religion and the Muslims here are peace loving people, we do a lot for the community.” Dr Ashraf claims that hatred towards the religion is more of a reason than the effects on the landscape. “We will be appealing. Justice is for everybody not just a few people. All we are asking for is the symbols of our community, they are the symbols of an Islamic mosque, just like a church spire. I think the application has not been assessed properly by the council.” I totally agree that the Ahmadiyya Muslims do, do a lot of good for the community which local residents are pleased with. They do not have any issues with the AMA in anyway just the planned building application. The days are in history when churches were built with spires, new church builds are rarely built with spires as these are no longer needed to call people to prayer, the mosques need to follow suit. These builds are mainly in residential areas where the builds do not fit in towering over homes. Residents would object if there was a church in the place of Long Lanes Ahmadiyya Mosque wishing to build a spire to the same height of the proposed minarets. It is definitely not hatred towards the religion and using words like these will only turn people against the AMA which is not what anyone wants. People just want a building to fit in with the area and the AMA to carry on with the great work they do and to carry on the words they preach “Loyalty, Freedom, Equality, Respect and Peace. Cllr Stuart Henley Halesowen North Ps we are at the present time getting a petition to get residents thoughts on a telecommunications mast erected on the junction of Narrow Lane and Oak Barn Road. ukip-halesowen
  • Score: 2

7:44pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Sam Vimes says...

Dr Ashraf needs to understand that the nature of Islam, whichever way you might perceive it and its local followers, has no bearing on a planning application. Presumably the rejection reasons will explain this to him.

Mosques are ugly buildings at the best of times. Grafting the uglier bits of a mosque onto an existing building can only end badly. Especially when they are purely cosmetic. The existing large sign with mosque written on it seems to be more than adequate to identify the purpose of the building.

Ugly building + rejections = democracy in action

Ugly mosque + rejections = hatred+lack of education+narrow mindedness

Wiggyboom - good luck with the Jedi temple. One hokey religion is as good as another. Can I sign up for light sabre and mind trick classes?
Dr Ashraf needs to understand that the nature of Islam, whichever way you might perceive it and its local followers, has no bearing on a planning application. Presumably the rejection reasons will explain this to him. Mosques are ugly buildings at the best of times. Grafting the uglier bits of a mosque onto an existing building can only end badly. Especially when they are purely cosmetic. The existing large sign with mosque written on it seems to be more than adequate to identify the purpose of the building. Ugly building + rejections = democracy in action Ugly mosque + rejections = hatred+lack of education+narrow mindedness Wiggyboom - good luck with the Jedi temple. One hokey religion is as good as another. Can I sign up for light sabre and mind trick classes? Sam Vimes
  • Score: 8

3:24pm Thu 24 Jul 14

mucklow hill resident says...

Well said Sam, because its a mosque and not a phone mast, church spire or whatever and its been rejected its because we are racist not because it will be an ugly blot on a building. They know its a mosque everyone who drives past knows its a mosque so why do they need a dome or whatever to prove what it is. They have made a lovely job of doing the old building and surrounding area up so why can't they be happy with what they have.
Well said Sam, because its a mosque and not a phone mast, church spire or whatever and its been rejected its because we are racist not because it will be an ugly blot on a building. They know its a mosque everyone who drives past knows its a mosque so why do they need a dome or whatever to prove what it is. They have made a lovely job of doing the old building and surrounding area up so why can't they be happy with what they have. mucklow hill resident
  • Score: 6

11:30am Sun 27 Jul 14

TomMason says...

mucklow hill resident wrote:
At least a jedi temple wouldn't have a minaret.
btw could anyone build a church of any denomination in Mecca ?
I don't think so do you ?
And to quote wiki -- "The first mosques had no minarets, and even nowadays the most conservative Islamic movements, like Wahhabis, avoid building minarets, seeing them as ostentatious and hazardous in case of collapse"
Therefor a Mosque does NOT need a Minaret to call the faithful to prayer
Well Ahmadis aren't permitted in Mecca, let alone build a mosque. It is not for you to decide what a mosque should look like rather its worshippers.
[quote][p][bold]mucklow hill resident[/bold] wrote: At least a jedi temple wouldn't have a minaret. btw could anyone build a church of any denomination in Mecca ? I don't think so do you ? And to quote wiki -- "The first mosques had no minarets, and even nowadays the most conservative Islamic movements, like Wahhabis, avoid building minarets, seeing them as ostentatious and hazardous in case of collapse" Therefor a Mosque does NOT need a Minaret to call the faithful to prayer[/p][/quote]Well Ahmadis aren't permitted in Mecca, let alone build a mosque. It is not for you to decide what a mosque should look like rather its worshippers. TomMason
  • Score: 0

11:41am Sun 27 Jul 14

TomMason says...

mucklow hill resident wrote:
Well said Sam, because its a mosque and not a phone mast, church spire or whatever and its been rejected its because we are racist not because it will be an ugly blot on a building. They know its a mosque everyone who drives past knows its a mosque so why do they need a dome or whatever to prove what it is. They have made a lovely job of doing the old building and surrounding area up so why can't they be happy with what they have.
So its for you decide what they should and should not be happy with? Can I decide what you should and should not be happy regarding you house merely on the basis that "I don't like the look of it"?
[quote][p][bold]mucklow hill resident[/bold] wrote: Well said Sam, because its a mosque and not a phone mast, church spire or whatever and its been rejected its because we are racist not because it will be an ugly blot on a building. They know its a mosque everyone who drives past knows its a mosque so why do they need a dome or whatever to prove what it is. They have made a lovely job of doing the old building and surrounding area up so why can't they be happy with what they have.[/p][/quote]So its for you decide what they should and should not be happy with? Can I decide what you should and should not be happy regarding you house merely on the basis that "I don't like the look of it"? TomMason
  • Score: -2

11:50am Sun 27 Jul 14

TomMason says...

Sam Vimes wrote:
Dr Ashraf needs to understand that the nature of Islam, whichever way you might perceive it and its local followers, has no bearing on a planning application. Presumably the rejection reasons will explain this to him.

Mosques are ugly buildings at the best of times. Grafting the uglier bits of a mosque onto an existing building can only end badly. Especially when they are purely cosmetic. The existing large sign with mosque written on it seems to be more than adequate to identify the purpose of the building.

Ugly building + rejections = democracy in action

Ugly mosque + rejections = hatred+lack of education+narrow mindedness

Wiggyboom - good luck with the Jedi temple. One hokey religion is as good as another. Can I sign up for light sabre and mind trick classes?
Can the Community build a "nice" mosque, then?

The issue is not whether the mosque is nice or ugly. The issue is the rejections against ALL mosques (which by definition does have minarets AND a dome) whether ugly or nice. By definition this is called prejudice.
[quote][p][bold]Sam Vimes[/bold] wrote: Dr Ashraf needs to understand that the nature of Islam, whichever way you might perceive it and its local followers, has no bearing on a planning application. Presumably the rejection reasons will explain this to him. Mosques are ugly buildings at the best of times. Grafting the uglier bits of a mosque onto an existing building can only end badly. Especially when they are purely cosmetic. The existing large sign with mosque written on it seems to be more than adequate to identify the purpose of the building. Ugly building + rejections = democracy in action Ugly mosque + rejections = hatred+lack of education+narrow mindedness Wiggyboom - good luck with the Jedi temple. One hokey religion is as good as another. Can I sign up for light sabre and mind trick classes?[/p][/quote]Can the Community build a "nice" mosque, then? The issue is not whether the mosque is nice or ugly. The issue is the rejections against ALL mosques (which by definition does have minarets AND a dome) whether ugly or nice. By definition this is called prejudice. TomMason
  • Score: -3

12:32pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Sam Vimes says...

TomMason wrote:
Sam Vimes wrote:
Dr Ashraf needs to understand that the nature of Islam, whichever way you might perceive it and its local followers, has no bearing on a planning application. Presumably the rejection reasons will explain this to him.

Mosques are ugly buildings at the best of times. Grafting the uglier bits of a mosque onto an existing building can only end badly. Especially when they are purely cosmetic. The existing large sign with mosque written on it seems to be more than adequate to identify the purpose of the building.

Ugly building + rejections = democracy in action

Ugly mosque + rejections = hatred+lack of education+narrow mindedness

Wiggyboom - good luck with the Jedi temple. One hokey religion is as good as another. Can I sign up for light sabre and mind trick classes?
Can the Community build a "nice" mosque, then?

The issue is not whether the mosque is nice or ugly. The issue is the rejections against ALL mosques (which by definition does have minarets AND a dome) whether ugly or nice. By definition this is called prejudice.
Thanks for proving my formula Tom, and even quoting it to boot.
[quote][p][bold]TomMason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sam Vimes[/bold] wrote: Dr Ashraf needs to understand that the nature of Islam, whichever way you might perceive it and its local followers, has no bearing on a planning application. Presumably the rejection reasons will explain this to him. Mosques are ugly buildings at the best of times. Grafting the uglier bits of a mosque onto an existing building can only end badly. Especially when they are purely cosmetic. The existing large sign with mosque written on it seems to be more than adequate to identify the purpose of the building. Ugly building + rejections = democracy in action Ugly mosque + rejections = hatred+lack of education+narrow mindedness Wiggyboom - good luck with the Jedi temple. One hokey religion is as good as another. Can I sign up for light sabre and mind trick classes?[/p][/quote]Can the Community build a "nice" mosque, then? The issue is not whether the mosque is nice or ugly. The issue is the rejections against ALL mosques (which by definition does have minarets AND a dome) whether ugly or nice. By definition this is called prejudice.[/p][/quote]Thanks for proving my formula Tom, and even quoting it to boot. Sam Vimes
  • Score: 2

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