A DECISION to refuse plans to convert a former Cradley Heath church hall into a mosque has been overturned at appeal.
Sandwell Council blocked the bid by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association to convert the old St Luke’s Church Hall in School Street into a mosque complete with a small dome and a minaret.
But planning inspector Penelope Metcalfe this week over-ruled the planning committee, saying it would not harm the character and appearance of the area.
She said there would no more parking, traffic, noise or disturbance caused by using the building as a mosque than for any of the other legitimate uses allowed for the hall.
Flat roofs to the extension will reduce the overall height and she said the “relatively modest dome” would be lower than most of the elements to be demolished.
“The proposed minaret would be a striking feature in the area, but I consider that, in view of its slender diameter and use of brickwork, it would not be unduly obtrusive, nor would it be unattractive,” added Ms Metcalfe.