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Not so Colney Hatch in London Colney
There was a phrase in London, which I have not heard used for many years, to describe someone exhibiting bizarre behaviour as an early sign of mental illness. Like the phrase 'going doolally' or 'doolally tap' (Deolali was a British Army transit camp in India, tap came from tapa meaning heat) going a bit 'Colney Hatch' meant that the sufferer looked likely to be needing a spell in one of the several mental hospitals situated in the London Colney/Colney Hatch area of Hertfordshire north of London. The Victorian authorities thought that building such institutions in fresh air and plesant countryside would benefit the inmates more than the smog of London. A friend of mine lived and worked in one of those hospitals just before they were all closed in the 1980s as part of the Neglect, sorry, Care in the Community scheme. This also freed lots of land for lucrative building projects.
I can't quite place where this Cemex site is but I am glad to see that someone in St Albans (the nearby administrative centre - beautiful Cathedral and famous Roman remains) planning office is neither doolally, nor colney hatch, but instead is canny and astute enough to look beyond the Islamic Centre's claims to their website and actions.
I have been following the objections to this building of this mosque for some weeks.
From The Herts Advertiser.
A BID to build a mosque in London Colney which attracted more than a hundred objections has been turned down because it would probably attract more worshippers than at first indicated.
St Albans council planning officers had recommended approval for the plan to convert Cemex House in Barnet Road into an Islamic Centre but the recommendation was based on estimates of around 50 people using the place of worship.
County councillor for The Colneys Chris Brazier said: "The Islamic Centre's website showed they were seeking £1,000 each from 300 people which indicates to me that there will be a far bigger usage than stated in the application. If these people are contributing towards the cost I think they will obviously want to use the facility.
"I think Hertfordshire Highways would have recommended refusal if they realised the site was likely to attract greater numbers than suggested in the application."
He explained that the other reason for refusal was that the site was in a conservation area and such a large establishment would be out of keeping.
Letters received from more than 100 residents objected to the scheme on the grounds of traffic fears, narrowness of the access road, insufficient parking and noise.
Cllr Brazier stressed that the committee's decision had nothing to do with the "vicious" anti-mosque leaflets sent out by British National Party member Danny Seabrook.
Cllr Brazier may I recommend to you Islam In Britain by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabas fund.