A Muslim community hoping to open an Islamic centre in an abandoned Worcester Park pub has decided to withdraw its proposals following a public consultation.

The Shia Ismaili community had intended to open a centre at the Worcester Park Tavern in Park Terrace for exercise classes, seniors day clubs and quiet meditation.

But plans for this were withdrawn after a consultation took place inside the building last year and the community group decided that an alternative site should be sought.

A spokesman from the group said: “The Ismaili community would like to thank all the respondents for their feedback and participation in the consultation process.

“It remains the hope of members of the Ismaili community who are part of the wider community, that this building will soon be put to good use.”

A petition to stop the tavern from being used as an Ismaili centre gathered more than 1,700 signatures.

Kingston councillor David Fraser (Old Malden ward) said: “It is good news.

"In fairness to the group I will give them credit. They did listen to the people and if the people were more in favour they would have carried on. I have a high regard for them now.

“But it would have been a traffic nightmare.”

The group currently have centres in Kensington, East Finchley, Croydon and Hounslow which have hosted open art exhibitions, talks for the elderly by Age Concern and early childhood development discussions.

The Ismaili Centre in South Kensington was the first centre to be specially designed and built for Ismailis in the Western world and was inaugurated in 1985 by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

This sector of Islam is different to the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama'at group that had its second application for a mosque at the old bank chambers in Green Lane rejected.