Land and Environment Court action over Louth Park Muslim prayer room proposal cut short

Louth Park Residents Group spokesman Harry Collins at his property, which is across the road from the site of the proposed Muslim place of worship. Picture: Marina Neil

Louth Park Residents Group spokesman Harry Collins at his property, which is across the road from the site of the proposed Muslim place of worship. Picture: Marina Neil

Legal action over plans for a Muslim place of worship at Louth Park has ended after the applicant brought court proceedings against Maitland City Council to a halt.

Dr Fazal Moughal, who had an application for a public prayer room on his Louth Park Road property unanimously rejected by councillors last year, challenged the decision in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

But NSW Department of Justice has confirmed that the applicant withdrew court action against Maitland Council on February 8.

Neither Dr Moughal or Maitland City Council would comment on the matter when Fairfax Media approached them this week.

The prayer room plan involved a building that would have been open to the public for worship for about six hours every day.

According to the application, the building would not have minarets – a common feature of mosques – and would include a car park with 25 spaces.

Louth Park Residents Group was the most vocal opponent of the prayer facility, on the basis its members  believed it would create noise and traffic problems and would generally be a poor fit in the large-lot rural residential zone.

Spokesman Harry Collins welcomed news that court action against council had been withdrawn.

“The vast majority of residents are quite happy with the news and feel that commonsense has prevailed,” he said.

“The block is not suitable for a place of public worship.

“The main objections that the residents had was the disturbance of having the hours of operation seven days a week from 5am until 7pm, 365 days a year, having a [bitumen] car park.

“They are just not residential activities and it’s a residential zone.”

Councillors rejected the proposal last June after a report from council officers found the public place of worship wouldn’t fit with the area’s zoning and that it would adversely affect the surrounding residential area.

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