Triumph for man over mosque

A man has won a long-fought battle with Havering Council and has been granted permission to continue using his bungalow as a mosque. A public inquiry has ruled that Kamal Siddiqui, 57, should be allowed to use the home in Lessington Road, Romford, for Friday prayers.

Three Conservative councillors – Robert Benham, Fred Osborne and Barry Tebbutt – declared in their 2006 election manifesto that they wanted the mosque shut down. But two-and-a-half years on and external inspector Katie Peerless has decided the bungalow can be used for worship. Havering Council handed retired Customs and Excise official Mr Siddiqui – an advisor to Scotland Yard who sits on the board of a number of local bodies – an enforcement notice last November. It stated he must stop using the bungalow as a place of worship and must not allow parking on his land in relation to worshippers.

But he launched an appeal and at the public inquiry held at the Town Hall last week, it was stated that the premises was entitled to a Certificate of Lawfulness because the bungalow had been used as a place of worship for more than a decade.

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