Opponents of a proposed Gold Coast mosque have had a major victory after a court rejected the Muslim place of worship because it’s simply “too big”.
Queensland’s Planning and Environment Court dismissed an appeal from the mosque’s proponents 18 months after the proposal was knocked back by the Gold Coast City Council.
The plan to convert a Currumbin Waters warehouse into a mosque had sparked massive outcry in the community, with thousands submitting objections to the development.
It would have been the second mosque on the Gold Coast, with the region’s Muslims already served by the Arundel mosque in the city’s north.
It was estimated the proposed mosque would have needed to accommodate 650 people for compulsory Friday prayers in 10 to 15 years.
Planning and Environment Court Judge William Everson said while there was a clear and demonstrable need for the mosque, the one proposed conflicted with planning scheme provisions.
“It is simply too big for the site,” Judge Everson said in his judgment.
“There would be a massive demand for off-site car parking during Friday prayers.
“The peak demand for off-street parking would occur during business hours … this would interfere with the operations of these (nearby industrial) businesses in a major way.”
The mosque’s proponents, Salsabil Charitable Organisation, took the case to court after the Gold Coast City Council rejected the proposed mosque at a heated meeting in September 2014.
Opponents are already celebrating court judgment, with some describing it as great news on Facebook.
“Our community owes a debt of gratitude to the small group of Currumbin Residents who kept this fight alive right to the end to save our wonderful community from unwelcome and unwanted change,” one wrote.