Building work at Carshalton hall stopped following planning hitch
Building work carried out on a controversial new religious centre has been stopped after builders rode roughshod over planning rules.
Work to the front of Wentworth Hall in Carshalton has been halted after unapproved building work was carried out.
Tenants, the Muslim Cultural and Welfare Association of Sutton (MCWAS), whose honorary secretary is former Mayor Lal Hussain MBE, will be granted a 125-year lease on the building upon the "satisfactory completion of these works".
However, works to the front of the site were not part of the original planning consent so are not covered by the building agreement with Sutton Council, according to a letter sent to a concerned resident.
The letter states: "A letter was sent to the tenants earlier this month instructing them to stop carrying out any works which have not been approved.
Confirmation was provided by the tenants this week that they have stopped the non-compliant works and Asset Management officers have arranged to carry out a site inspection."
As the council is landlord of the property, it has control over what works are carried out and to what standard.
The council has already refuted allegations it had given Mr Hussain a favourable rent agreement after the MCWAS began renting Wentworth Hall in 1996. Rent for the 3,000 sq ft hall is around the same price as an office is available on Wrythe Lane in Carshalton an eighth of hall's size (500 sq ft).
A new planning application for the additional works has been received by the council.
One resident said: "The driver behind Mr Hussain submitting this second application is complaints from residents that he is not building according to the approved planning application. Which, given his standing as ex-Mayor, I find astounding, surely he has some understanding of the planning process?"
A Sutton Council spokesperson said: "We have asked MCWAS to stop some of the works to the building which weren’t part of the original planning application.
"We have since received a revised planning application and this will be considered like any other planning application."