Unprecedented level of interest in mosque application

Harrow Council has received more than 3,000 responses to a planning application from Harrow Central Mosque to broadcast the call to prayer during the Covid-19 crisis.

Mosque leaders have asked for permission to broadcast the call to prayer every Friday for three months.

They say the temporary move is designed to reach out to people of all faiths – and those with none – to help reduce isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the application has proved controversial with some residents unhappy about the level of noise and concerned it could lead to the call to prayer becoming a permanent fixture.

Harrow Council told HCRA there had been an “unprecedented level of interest” in the application and the authority had allocated additional resources to cope with the large volume of emails.

The application has received messages of support from people living far and wide including many who do not live in Harrow.

But some people living near the mosque have objected saying they don’t want their peace and quiet disturbed on a regular basis.

More than 10,000 people have so far signed a petition objecting to the plan.

Meanwhile there has been concern from some residents that their comments on the proposal have not been received, got lost or been removed from the council’s website.

Harrow Council’s planning team told HCRA it was currently receiving “hundreds of comments each day” and the council was not able to respond to each one individually.

However, the authority assured HCRA that all comments would be taken into account and published once they had been reviewed.

The plans – and comments on the application – can be viewed via Harrow Council’s website by typing in the application reference: P/1528/20

Please direct all comments to Harrow Council.


Mosque requests permission to broadcast call to prayer

Harrow Central Mosque has applied for planning permission to broadcast the call to prayer every Friday evening for three months.

The mosque said the temporary move was in response to the Covid-19 crisis and a way of reaching out to people of all faiths who are currently unable to pray or gather together.

When planning permission for the mosque on the corner of Rosslyn Crescent and Station Road was granted this was on the condition that “no music or any other amplified sound” could be heard by residents living near the mosque.

However, mosque leaders have asked for a temporary lifting of this restriction during the coronavirus pandemic.

If the plan is agreed by Harrow Council the call to prayer – or Adhan – will be broadcast from eight speakers at 6pm every Friday night for three months.

However, the planning application asks for flexibility to extend this beyond three months should “the pandemic and circumstances justify it”.

The planning application states that the call to prayer will last no longer than three to five minutes.

Meanwhile, the wording will be tweaked to call on people to pray where they are at home rather than coming to the mosque.

Mosque leaders said the initiative was designed to “provide a spiritually uplifting experience to the whole community”.

“The initiative is to reinforce Harrow’s legacy of strong community ties and for all faiths to come together,” said the application document.

The aim was to “lift the community’s spirits and to address the strong sense of isolation felt by many of our community in these difficult times” and was for “people of all religions or of none”.

However, some residents have expressed concern about the noise and that the move could pave the way for a permanent call to prayer.

Residents are being invited to comment on the plans via Harrow Council’s website.

The plans can be viewed by typing in the application reference: P/1528/20

NB: We have decided to disable the comment function on this topic due to the volume of comments received and the fact we are a tiny organisation staffed by volunteers and not qualified to moderate the content. Please make comments on the planning application itself or email them to the planning department.

Recycling centre reopens

Harrow Recycling Centre is to reopen on Monday but there are new rules about who is allowed to go on certain days.

Harrow Council announced the centre in Forward Drive would open its doors seven days a week from May 18.

But for a few weeks a temporary system will be in place that means people from different parts of Harrow can only go on set days.

Under the new system people from HCRA households in HA1 can go to the dump on Mondays.

People from other Harrow postal zones have their own days while Sundays are reserved for keyworkers only.

There will be staff at the entrance to the centre checking people’s ID and paperwork.

Residents have been told to bring a valid UK driving licence, council tax statement or a utility bill and a staff pass, letter or other ID if they are a keyworker.

Only cars will be allowed to come to the site with just the driver allowed out of the vehicle to dispose of waste.

For more information click here.

Garden waste collections resume

Collections of garden waste will start again later this month, Harrow Council has confirmed.

The paid-for scheme had been temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic but will get going again from May 11.

The council has said it will refund residents for the collections that were missed.

Brown bins for garden waste are collected every two weeks so for some residents the service may resume during the week starting May 18.

You can check your collection date on the council’s website here.

The council reminded residents to ensure their garden waste scheme sticker was stuck to their brown bin where refuse collectors could see it.

If you haven’t yet received your sticker you can order it from here.