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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 13:54 GMT
Controversial mosque plan refused
Graphic of proposed new mosque in Dudley
The Dudley Muslim Association is considering an appeal
A Muslim association has criticised a council's decision not to grant planning permission for a 6m mosque.

Dudley's planning committee voted unanimously to refuse outline permission. Thousands of signatures and letters of objection had been sent.

Khurshid Ahmed, chair of Dudley Muslim Association, said it was "very likely" to appeal and accused the council of going back on a land exchange deal.

The council said the land had been designated for employment purposes.

Mr Ahmed said it was not the end despite the decision on Tuesday.

'Super-quality building'

He said: "We bought the land from the council.

"We have it in writing from the council at that time that only a mosque and a community centre will be built as a condition of that particular land exchange.

"The only condition was that it would be a super-quality building because it was near the town centre.

Graffiti on site of a proposed mosque in Dudley
The plans had provoked widespread opposition in the town

"Now for the same council to go back on that, it's just really ridiculous.

"It all depends on what advice we're given, but it's very likely we will appeal."

Mr Ahmed said the board of trustees will meet on Sunday to look at the options available.

The council's chair of development control, Tim Wright, said the land had been designated for employment purposes under the council's recent Unitary Development Plan (UDP).

"They have shown there would be 112 jobs, of which 37 were part-time.

"In my opinion as a member of the development control committee I don't think they've justified providing sufficient employment.

"If we'd been asked to go away from the policy already, it almost seems a worthless policy."

The council denies the decision was racist

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