Plans to convert a former accountants office into a mosque have been given the green light, despite desperate pleas from a businessman who is fed up with arguing about parking.

Despite the plan getting more than 100 objections, Frasers chartered accountants in Kingsbury Road, Brent, will now be converted into a place of worship for local Muslims.

Residents had blasted the plans as “ridiculous”, claiming there wouldn’t be enough parking for the worshippers, it would increase traffic in the area, and be bad for local businesses.

The owner of Health First in Kingsbury Road, Mohammad Azad, said he hadn’t had a problem for 24 years until the premises was recently taken over.

He voiced his concerns at the recent planning committee on Wednesday (February 8). He said: “I’ve been running a business in Kingsbury since 1999 and I’ve never had a problem before. Since these people took over I have been getting a lot of issues with parking. 

“If even one car blocks me, I can’t get in and I can’t get out. I have a family, I’ve got children to pick up from school, I’ve got an elderly mother-in-law, sometimes drivers can’t bring a delivery to my back door because it’s always blocked.”

He added: “I’m fed up with this, I can’t take it anymore. I’m an old man, I’ve got a lot of illnesses so I don’t want to argue with some youngsters, I don’t want to have any problem. I don’t want to get stabbed by somebody, I’m there to earn my living.”

The site currently has space for up to six cars, as well as one bicycle bay. Council officers have confirmed that the prayer hall would be able to accommodate up to 40 worshippers at a time, plus the Imam, but some residents have questioned how this would work.

Following a consultation by council planning officers, 125 residents objected to the plans, whilst 27 responded positively. Those against cited further reasons including noise levels, increased footfall, and the presence of other mosques in the area.

Among those in support, one resident said: “I come to Kingsbury for work on a daily basis, I think it will be great if a local Islamic community centre is available for people like myself to go and worship in. This will be brilliant for the local community as well.”

Another added: “This will be a brilliant opportunity for local residents to go and pray in, I am a local shopkeeper and myself and staff currently travel for a local masjid. For us, this will be very good. Will also be good for local business as it will bring more customers.”

The representative for Queensbury ward, Cllr Sandra Kabir, told the committee that she supported the application despite the volume of objections, claiming many people were also in favour.

She said: “There’s no other Muslim place of worship in the vicinity, and an increasing number of businesses and shoppers of the Muslim faith are coming to Kingsbury Road, which has become an upcoming, busy, and bustling shopping centre.”

She added: “The facility would, in all probability, generate much less noise than that generated by Tesco just a few hundred yards down the road and the very noisy car wash that is on the other side of the road.”

Cllr Kabir said that parking wouldn’t be an issue as anyone wanting to do so would have to book, so they could not park “willy-nilly” at any time. She also questioned the restricted opening timings placed on the application as other businesses in the area are open later.

She said: “In my view, any place of worship, be it Christianity, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, or whatever, should be open to believers whenever they wish to pray, reflect, read a holy book, or talk to spiritual leaders.”

Officers had recommended conditions be placed on the plan, including that the mosque could only operate between 12pm and 9pm and there was to be no use of amplified sound equipment. These were tweaked to allow for cleaning to take place outside of those times, and for sound levels to apply when they can be heard outside of the premise boundary.

The application was subsequently voted through unanimously by the council’s planning committee.