Members of the Shia Muslim community have been refused permission to use an Ifield house as a place of worship.
The application asking to change the use of Stafford House, in Bonnetts Lane, Crawley, was before Horsham District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday (November 6).
It included proposals to extend the house and link it to a two-storey meeting hall, which would be built on the same site.
The committee had refused an almost identical application in January, with concerns raised about traffic and the impact the plans would have on neighbouring homes.
With officers recommending this latest application also be refused, they were accused of being ‘hell bent on refusing this development on grounds that just don’t hold water’.
The accusation was made by Simon Brett, agent for the applicant, who told the meeting that a letter had been circulated, encouraging objections ‘on grounds that it is for a mosque’, which he felt was ‘verging on racist’.