Brentford Mosque eviction to affect an entire community

By Moiz Saifuddin

9th Jul 2024 | Local News

The Brentford Community Mosque in Watermans Park (credit: Moiz Saifuddin).
The Brentford Community Mosque in Watermans Park (credit: Moiz Saifuddin).

Members from the Brentford Mosque community have appealed an eviction notice as they face the prospect of being forced out of their place of worship.

Topland group, owners of Watermans Park, have been asked to cancel or delay the mosque's eviction later this month, to allow the community more time to find a new home.

Mohammed, a community organiser, said that the eviction will displace nearly 1,500 people who have found solace at the centre since it opened in February this year. 

"This place helps community members, and to close it down for one week or one day can have a daunting effect on them. So, we don't want to go down that route," he told Nub News.

Mohammed continued: "The main thing is we can't evacuate...we will come back to that and we'll have the legal team working on that.

"The main priority is we cannot evacuate without having any replacement."

While the community understand they have no choice but to comply with the eviction notice, they are offering to maintain the property for Topland and are appealing to the group to at least provide more time to find a replacement site.

Mohammed claimed Topland Group sent the eviction notice after discovering its leaseholder, fashion designer and founder of the charity Kawasaki Disease, Dee Izmail, had sublet spaces in the Watermans Park to the mosque and other organisations without authority.

The mosque was unaware that Ms Izmail was not the landowner. 

The mosque, operating without council funding, has incurred significant costs since February. Besides paying £4,500 per month in rent, they have spent thousands on carpets, sound systems, and maintenance.

Watermans Art Centre has faced a number of issues since its closure in April earlier this year (credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon).

The mosque has also reached out Hounslow Council for assistance in the matter.

A Hounslow Council spokesperson, said: "Hounslow Council is aware of the needs of the Brentford Community Mosque at Watermans Park and is actively working to assist them.

"While the mosque is not one of our tenants, we recognise the valuable services they provide to the community.

"The council is currently reviewing the council's asset portfolio to identify a suitable location that meets the Brentford Community Mosque's requirements.

"In the event that the mosque has to vacate the premises by mid-July without an alternative space, we will continue to work with them to explore any opportunities that arise within our portfolio.

"The council receives numerous requests from community groups, and while available properties are limited, we strive to match needs with suitable spaces as they become available."

Ruth Cadbury, the local MP has also been in touch with the mosque community. 

Before the general election last week (4 July), she said: "I was extremely concerned and worried to hear that the Brentford Muslim Centre, along with a number of other community groups and small businesses are facing the prospect of being evicted.

"As someone who has lived in Brentford for over 40 years, I know how important spaces like these are. 

"I have already been in extensive contact with the landlord, the council and others, and hope that the eviction and vacation does not take place.

"If re-elected I will continue to work to support the mosque and other tenants facing eviction."

Dee Izmail and the Topland group have been approached for comment.

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