Monday, 22 February 2010

National Security Surrey Heath Style

Surrey Heath planning committee have given the thumbs-up for the building of a giant mosque overlooking Britain's top military academy Sandhurst.  Council chiefs will try to force the application through next month.

The building would have a huge dome and two 100ft minarets towering over the soldiers' parade ground, which is positioned directly in front of the Officers Mess.

Security experts have warned the mosque could become a magnet for radical Muslims if it goes ahead.  Top brass have lodged an official objection backed by 7,000 residents who signed a petition.  A security source said: "We have some concerns and have been checking links with known radical mosques in other areas and postings on websites.  Police special branch has asked to brief the local council."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Sandhurst has put in an objection on the grounds of security."  A Surrey Heath Council spokesman said: "The submitted plans state that there will be no access to the minarets above the roof level of the building."

I know this area well. Planning applications were always thoroughly vetted, particularly from a security aspect, because of the importance of the Academy.  Back in the 70s I remember a real stooshie when a developer made an application for a block of flats, which were four storeys high (even though older surrounding buildings were taller).  There were thousands of complaints on the grounds that the frontage overlooked part of Sandhurst's grounds and the application was thrown out on its first presentation.

It's of no concern to me if this is a mosque or a cathedral.  Any building with such visual access to the grounds of Sandhurst should not be granted planning permission.

It would appear Surrey Heath Council have no such understanding of national security.   Perhaps someone in the MoD will find the ability to knock some sense into them before it's too late.



Uncle Marvo said...

Michael Gove's gaff, isn't it? Journalist, political commentator, major trough-snouter and part time Con MP.


13th Spitfire said...

I think we all know that that Mosque will be up and running in a years time. Otherwise it is racism of course.

Anonymous said...

..... apart from the fact that the building that would be replaced by the mosque is a rather nice red brick listed Victorian school.

subrosa said...

Yes of course it is Marvo. I should have said that in the post. Thanks for mentioning it.

subrosa said...

Got it in one Spitfire.

subrosa said...

I've been trying to find a photo of the school Bob because it is a handsome building.

Leg-iron said...

No access above roof level?

There'll have to be, if only for maintenance. If there's access for maintenance, there's access for a sniper. Doesn't have to be a Muslim sniper either.

If any nutjob gets up there and takes pot shots at the Academy, who do the Muslims think will get the blame? They don't realise the risk they're taking, any more than the council.

subrosa said...

I was going to say something similar LI but not being an architect thought I'd leave it out. My thought was more along the lines of doesn't the 'caller' call 5 times a day from a minaret?

As Bob says the Victorian school they're planning to demolish is a handsome building but then there are plenty empty schools sitting empty.

Pot shots would be simple from there. Yes they're being very short-sighted the Muslims. I'm quite sure there are buildings around Camberley which could very easily be converted to a place of worship without them having to spend millions on a new one. Why this desperate need to have new mosques?

Uncle Marvo said...

"Why this desperate need to have new mosques?"

[hands up] Please miss, I know, miss!

Because every little thing you can do to change or add something makes that door open just a little but more.

Ask NuLab, they're good at it.

subrosa said...

Marvo, I should have emphasised the NEW but I understand what you mean. I'm sure many, along with me, agree with you.

Uncle Marvo said...

We've got one here. A big one.

It had a gold roof. Well, it may not have been real gold, but I think it might have been gold leaf or gold plate.

Looked rather nice, until the pikeys nicked it.

We chuckled a bit.

We also have a "centre" for those of the Indian persuasion. I am not allowed in it.

We have a pub too, and those of an Indian persuasion *are* allowed in it.

That is entirely fair.

A moslem friend of mine has invited me to his mosque though, which is nice. I don't really want to go because there is no beer for sale there.

subrosa said...

We have one in Dundee but it's not a big one of course.

I was smiling when you said there was no beer for sale there. At least that's a better reason than not liking to go barefoot in this weather.

Anonymous said...

There are some good pictures here:

The state of play at the moment (I think!!!) is that the planning officers recommended refusal, the councillors voted to approve, but apparently there was a procedural cockup. So now the councillors have to decide how they can vote again.

The council are famous for their monumental incompetence. They sat on the most valuable piece of real estate in central Camberley for about 20 years. Having left it empty and derelict they then flogged it for development right at the bottom of the last property slump before this one.

Gove sat on his hands on the planning issue till very recently. Presumably he is following Domed Dave's precept that any semblance of decisiveness should be avoided at all costs.

Bob Doney

naldo said...

Acht stop yer whingein. At least this gives you another chance to have a go at Muslims - somethin this and so many other blogs seem to delight in these days.

These are scary days for those of us who believe that we should all be treated equally no matter our faith, skin tone, gender, sexuality etcetra.

The nasty, dangerous right is on the rise and this blog gives it succour. Shame.

Thankfully, as numbers on both sides showed very clearly in Edinburgh on Saturday, there are far more who oppose Islamaphobia than there are who propogate it.

Power to the people, right on.

Amusing Bunni said...

That is the most idiotic idea I have EVER read about.
Why don't they just invite the mosque to bunk with the guys, then they can slit their throats in their sleep and keep the neighborhood quiet?

subrosa said...

That's the old school, thanks Bob! It's a lovely building I've always thought.

That's how I see it too Bob. Without the cockup it possibly would have gone through.

The council were quite good back in the 70s but I see they've become useless. Surprising really with such an lot of money in the area and there used to be plenty influential people too.

Gove doesn't surprise me. The tories are scared to death to make any decisions just in case they 'slip up'.

Thanks again for the photos. I used to pass that school every day.

subrosa said...

Naldo, your comment doesn't really warrant a response. I made clear in the post that this was nothing to do with Muslims but with buildings and national security.

I find your remarks offensive and completely unjustified.

You obviously don't know the area or you would understand why I think as I do. Shame you didn't read what I wrote.

subrosa said...

It is rather strange Bunni because I'm sure if a developer wanted to erect a building of that height they wouldn't have managed past the first planning consultation.

It's a bit like having a large mosque overlooking all of West Point.

naldo said...

Can you point to any post you've ever written in which Muslims or their places of worship were represented in a positive light?

I may have missed them but can't remember having read a single one.

Following links to blogs of others who've commented on this story, it seems you're not alone in your desire to promote a monocultural society.

An independent Scotland should be for all of us, not just the white, allegedly Christian majority. I wonder what Jesus would have made of such intolerance.

trencherbone said...

Muslims present major security risks to the West on multiple fronts.

Their primary loyalty is to the 'Ummah' - the global 'kindred' of Muslims, and this trumps and overrides all other loyaties and obligations, including any loyalty to their country of residence and obligation to obey its laws.

Unlike churches, mosques are not places of spirituality, peace and sanctuary. They are quasi-military citadels and centres of subversion, intimidation and terrorism.

subrosa said...

Indeed I can Naldo. I've often mentioned the Muslim mosque in Dundee and the peaceful attitude of the Muslim community in Dundee.

I'm not going through all my posts over the past 12+ months but perhaps you may do.

I reiterate, a building this height within such close proximity to the heart of the British military, is wrong.

We have 10,000 of our troops (some Muslim by the way - just in case you weren't aware), fighting half a world away for our security.

You work it out Naldo. I already have.

subrosa said...

Trencherbone, it's obvious to anyone with common sense that it's only a small selection of the Muslim community are fanatics. Unfortunately we have some of them here.

As for this building. They are presently in a lovely old Victorian school building which I'm sure could be easily adapted, if it hasn't been already. (See Bob's photo link above).

Why do they feel they need to knock down their present (listed) location and build a mosque.

Here is Scotland I know certain religions use other church halls, community halls and even pub function rooms for their worship.

I don't hear any of these people insisting they need posher premises. They don't mind where they worship as long as they worship. The Muslims are giving a different message with this desire to build their own mosques. They make it appear the building they worship in is more important than their beliefs.

Uncle Marvo said...

Dearest Naldo

Could you please point me towards a Muslim country which promotes multiculturalism?

Many thanks,


Uncle Marvo said...

[is this thing on?]

Naldo ?

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