Traffic worries over mosque extension in Whitechapel

Mosque Cavell Street 1

Mosque Cavell Street 1 - Credit: Archant

Plans to extend a mosque and Islamic school in Whitechapel have been called “bonkers” by residents who say the increase in traffic could cost lives.

A decision on the proposed new four-storey Esha’atul Islam Mosque building in Cavell Street will be made by the council’s planning committee on November 14.

The mosque has applied for the extension, which will link the new building to it’s current home in Damien Street, to provide extra classrooms, a new ladies’ prayer hall and more men’s prayer space.

But residents worry that an extension so near to the A&E at Royal London Hospital will increase traffic congestion and disrupt the flow of ambulances.

James Perkins, a resident in Cavell Street, said: “Traffic on the streets around the existing mosque is already chaotic, especially at the Cavell Street entrance to A&E.

“If it was just the case of a few honking horns and angry drivers, that would be one thing.

“But ambulances use this road to get in and out of A&E. Would you want to be stuck in the back of one of those ambulances? It’s bonkers.”

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Jon Sykes, another resident, said: “At certain times of day I can’t even cycle down Cavell Street on my bike. I dread to think what might happen once the proposed extension is finished.”

However, the mosque’s vice-president, Abdul Jalil, said these concerns were unfounded and were dealt with during the application process.

He said: “We want to expand our capacity for the community with more accommodation for the congregation.

“With every application there are some people who object. It is quite natural. But this has all been responded to already.”