An application to repurpose Northwood Police Station into a community centre and mosque has been rejected.
The Iron Aid Foundation (IAF) has been part of the Northwood community for 12 years, most recently operating from St John’s United Reformed Church on Hallowell Road, just 400 metres away from the Grade II listed former Metropolitan Police Station.
The Islamic charity was hoping to use the police station, which is currently vacant, to continue their work. Their application sought to use the building as a community centre to help the needy and elderly in the community, with facilities for a place of worship.
The application split public opinion, with some residents concerned about a potential increase in visitors from outside the area and the consequential effects on parking.
Others, however, supported the plans. Members from a number of other local religious groups all expressed their support for the proposal to turn “the once dilapidated eyesore into a community asset once again”.
A spokesperson for the IAF said: “We are naturally disappointed that despite the support of more than 1,000 local residents, community and religious organisations including retired police officers, Northwood United Synagogue, Ark Synagogue,
St John’s United Reformed Church and Northwood Scout Group, councillors did not approve our application to bring back to life the derelict police station so it can once again serve the community.
“The IAF has been rooted in Northwood for the past 12 years and we will continue to be so for several decades to come, while exploring all legal options open to us.”
A spokesperson for Hillingdon Council said: “Members were in favour of bringing the police station back into use and commented that a place of worship would be welcomed. However, it was felt that this was the wrong location given the concerns regarding the highways implications on a busy junction, with a supermarket opposite and a school nearby. Air quality was also a matter of concern.”
David Simmonds CBE, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, said: “I welcome the idea of the old police station being brought back into community use in this way, but I understand residents have a great deal of concern about the amount of traffic it would create. I look forward to seeing the proposals resubmitted with a better idea of how to deal with this problem.”