Youth festival hosted by Muslim community group is refused permission to relocate temporarily onto green belt site

August 31, 2017
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An application to relocate a youth festival hosted by a Muslim community group in Tilford has been turned down at a council meeting.

The festival has been running on an annual basis for 30 years at Islamabad, in Sheephatch Lane, but the proposal was rejected on Wednesday (August 30) at an area planning meeting.

The current site is being completely revamped and it was proposed to Waverley Borough Council that the festival relocates to a field in the south side of Grange Road on a one-off basis.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Communities UK needed to submit the proposal for approval as the site falls on green belt land and is a protected location.

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In the submitted report, officers said that the temporary nature and short-term impact of the festival are special circumstances which could allow the land to be used.

The event creates a significant footfall, with around 4,000 visitors expected to attend the 2017 festival.

Planning officers, recommending approval, said: “Officers recognise that the site is in a rural location and, therefore, not in a location that would normally be considered sustainable.

“However, given that these events are a one-off, and that they are usually held at Islamabad, an equally rural location only 2.5 miles away, officers do not consider that a reason for refusal on the grounds of sustainability could be sustained.”

The youth festival will run from September 15-17 and a second event for older members, aged 25-60, will run from September 22-24.

The proposals included the construction of marquees and tents of various sizes and also a running track and outdoor eating area.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Communities UK, which runs the festival, said that the event would help encourage young people to participate in educational and sporting activities.

Trainee Imam Sabah Ahmedi said: “The event taking place in September and is the largest Muslim youth gathering of its kind.

“The national gathering of youth from all over the county also caters for the Caliph of Islam to come and address them about various different issues.”

Islamabad is being redeveloped , including a completely new mosque with two minarets which will be capable of generating energy.

Also set to be built in the revamp are guest accommodations, classrooms and a sports hall.

Councillors voted to refuse the temporary relocation of the festival.

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Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/youth-festival-hosted-muslim-community-13554434


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