Solihull Community Hub Investigated For Breaking Terms of Planning Consent
A local community centre is under fire following allegations that it has been turned into a mosque without permission.
Solihull’s Community Hub, based on Hermitage Road, opened its doors as a conference and training centre last April but is now under investigation from Solihull Council due to allegations that it has broken the terms of planning consent.
A man residing near the Hub site said he had called police to inform them that approximately 300 people had attended the conference and training centre on Tuesday night.
“At 9pm there were cars parked all over Hermitage Road,” he said.
“A neighbour said it had been going on since 6pm.
“I called the police because I felt intimidated.”
An online petition calling for the Community Hub to be shut down has been signed by over 1,000 people.
The petition’s states: “Solihull’s residents have not been consulted or informed of plans to turn the old ambulance station on Hermitage Road in to a ‘masjid’, otherwise known as a mosque.
“It has been put forward as Solihull Community Hub and the planning application stated it would be a conference and training centre.
“It is not acceptable for this to have happened without the residents of Solihull being given the chance to have their say.”
Dr Issam Ghannam, a Solihull Imam, said that Muslims from the area had to travel into Birmingham to visit a mosque and practice their faith.
He said: “There are 20,000 Muslims in Solihull and we haven’t got a mosque here, it’s how the regulations of the council are.
Andy Jones, who had signed the petition, criticised some of the comments posted on the document as “bordering on racism”.
He said: “This is not a point about race, it’s about the fact that this building is being used for something that was not detailed in the planning application.
“A true community centre would be beneficial for the area, if it is inclusive to the entire community regardless of faith, orientation or belief.”