Residents express concerns over plans for White Horse pub in Potter Street to become “multi-faith centre”

News / Tue 9th Jul 2024 at 10:51am

RESIDENTS have expressed their concerns regarding plans to convert a pub in Potter Street into an “multi-faith centre”.

The proposal is to change the use of the former White Horse public house on Potter Street into a “centre for multi-faith cultural studies and learning, open seven days per week to all residents of whatever faith, to provide a meeting place, a place for teaching, for seminars and for prayer”

The pub was purchased in 2023 and was alway seen as a replacement for the Northbrooks Centre, which Muslim members of the Bangladeshi community had been using for many years but had become dilapidated.

Since 2023, members of the Islamic faith had quietly used the premises as, we believe a place of worship.

But now, what is called a full application, has been submitted to Harlow Council

But judging by the comments on the council website, residents are mostly concerned regarding parking.

Various comments

“I would like to register my objection to the plans on the grounds of the parking 

This area is short of parking spaces and residence are finding it difficult to find spaces for their cars.

Having parking all the way up past the common probably on both sides if the road will just add to the congestion on a busy bus route.

Many children in the area have to cross this road to get to the underpass which takes them to Passmores school.

The planning states its a multi cultural centre, will anybody have the opportunity to use its facilities or is it mainly for prayer?

By facilities I mean using it for meetings of other clubs or organisations,

“This is a peaceful part of Harlow ,not forgetting how beautiful it is, too good to be ruined by cars parked everywhere and noise pollution from slamming car doors”.


I object to the application which is fundamentally flawed and is not transparent in the extent of its use.

i. There is not sufficient capacity on site to accommodate the number of cars that will transport people to the centre either for prayer (80 People) or to use it for other uses contained in the application.

ii. The number of cars will result in parking on Potter Street blocking the pavements for access and outside residential houses. This will result in alot noise of people coming and going and making the road dangerous with cars obstructing the road.

iii. It states that it will be open for operation seven days a week but is not transparent in stating the hours of use. This is in addition to the one prayer meeting stated and end of EID. The celebration of EID will possibly attract more than 80 people. Will the centre be used for prayer during Ramadan which is 5 prayers a day?

iv. I note the existing centre has suffered from vandalism so there is a high risk that this vandalism will move to the new site and putting local properties at risk on Potter Street and Church Road.

v. The small road adjoining the White Horse provides access to properties and parking for those residents and is co-opted by the local residents which is not mentioned in the application.


As there has been objections, this application may go in front of the Harlow Council Planning Committee.

You can find the full application and comments on the Harlow Council website.

Got to: “Search for a Planning Application and enter HW/FUL/24/00190 

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27 Comments for Residents express concerns over plans for White Horse pub in Potter Street to become “multi-faith centre”:

Guy Flegman
2024-07-09 13:30:14

I live near this pub and do not see why people are objecting. It will cause no more problems than the nearby church and church hall. People will park in church lane if the pub car park is full. I have to drive down church lane to get to my house and even when on the odd occasion ( once a week)the road is almost blocked it is a minor inconvenience at best. Seems to me some people just do not like change.

Mark Gregory
2024-07-09 13:41:24

I drink in there, will it be still have a bar?

Dan Ricketts
2024-07-09 15:06:39

Dear YourHarlow, something you have missed here (and which you can check on the Harlow council planning portal) is that there is a residential prohibition order against the White Horse and owners on the grounds that the building was being used as an unlicensed House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) for several months. This prohibition order being put in place appears to have spurred the owners to make an official planning application. Not a very honest way of going about things sadly.

2024-07-09 15:09:55

Fridays at Northbrooks there are alot of cars parking up the Kerbs.

Steve May
2024-07-09 15:10:43

I wonder how many people who are opposing this also voted Reform?

John Rees
2024-07-09 15:58:02

It is a beautiful spot should be converted to a restaurant maim problem the parking you can see what it’s like when the fete is held a definite no j

Rena Bilsland
2024-07-09 17:49:58

Should be knocked down and houses of flats for people to live in they can pray at home

Reform uk
2024-07-09 17:50:36

Steve may what does your political view have to do with a planning objection, there plenty of people who object to plan all over the country for may reasons, stop trying to make out it’s racism

2024-07-09 19:19:02

I really hope the planning is rejected, when the fete takes place once a year in may the parking is a nightmare, and driving past it is dangerous with cars parked on both sides and no where to pull in. I don't think Guy Flegman realises the amount of people who will attend at all hours, as well as microphones and music. I used to live opposite a mosque and it's not only very noisy but very busy all hours of the day and night, it will ruin the nicest part of potter street, it already looks awful since the new owners have moved in.

2024-07-09 19:28:30

Sorry spelling mistake, should be kingsmoor house.

Dr Robert Macdonald
2024-07-09 21:34:37

Good luck to them a multi-faith Community Hub is something to be embraced and celebrated. It concerns me when I hear some xenophobic, if not racist comments on here.

2024-07-09 21:45:52

Potter street will be in piece

2024-07-10 05:28:55

We object strongly about this planning going through my husband is disabled and has a mobility scooter and can not get through as cars are parked on the path then he has to go into the road which is very dangerous it is a busy bus route and also other vehicles driving through and there is no drop downs from the kerb

2024-07-10 09:57:18

Multi faith, you make me laugh.. Give it a year and it will be a Mosque. It won't be for all the community. This happened in Edmonton and definitely wasn't open to those not of the faith.

2024-07-10 10:40:02

To my knowledge we have multiple churches, multiple Mosques, a synagogue and many other faith buildings already within Harlow. Quite a few already have multi faith events and cater for all faiths of any kind. What we do know is the applicant for this application is the same applicant who illegally turned a commercial premises into private accomodation for him and his familly. This application is lttle more than to achieve residence at the building still. We already have 3 mosques in Harlow, multiple churches and various other religious serving premises. So the question is, do we need another? I would say Harlow is already served very with more than enough premises for those of any faith and inter faith.

2024-07-10 11:04:36

Reading the varied comments about this article I think that some sort of investigation is rapidly activated. This community had been in residence in another area and now wish to vacate their current premises, because, the property is in a completely unfit condition for their needs...................WHY and who has responsibility for it ?

2024-07-10 12:35:02

This should be a restaurant, not a place of worship, of any kind. I agree with other comments that this area is an absolute nightmare traffic wise when the fete is on. I wouldn't be surprised if it's still being used as a HMO given the number of cars regularly parked outside at all hours

2024-07-10 17:33:24

kings moor road is the same, they all park down thr road on double yellow lines, blocking the path and making it very dangerous for pedestrians, they have a big car park, no excuses, also there are many so called "multi faith" centres in harlow, how about open a community centre for the youngsters to go to for all kinds of help if they need it, a rest bite centre for the young carers of harlow, a safe house for domestic violence survivors, theres so much more this beautiful old building could be used for, I'm in my 30s lived in harlow all my life and feel sad to see how much it's been sold down the pan to the point we have nothing left here neither do our kids, not 1 play scheme is open, the town centre is full of dodgy takeaway shops, no nightlife or decent town centre to shop in.

David Forman
2024-07-11 08:29:16

The cynic in me questions why the application is for a multi-faith centre, when as the article says it was always seen as a replacement for the Northbrooks centre used by Bangladeshi Muslims. As someone who converted to Islam almost 30 years ago, I find the illegal use of the premises for residential purposes an affront to Islamic teaching. Islam says it followers should be honest in their business dealings with all people and that includes non-Muslims. See https://www.islamawareness.net/Honesty/honesty_article002.html

David Forman
2024-07-11 08:43:58

Whilst I always defend people's right to worship, I find the dishonest dealings of the applicant has tainted and undermined any blessings a multi-faith centre would bring in normal circumstances. Dishonesty in business, as in general, brings it own curse. It also brings the image of Islam into disrepute and helps those who want to denigrate religious beliefs. A sad day all round.

Martin East
2024-07-11 10:16:39

The original funding bid for the pub states "Fund raising for Bangladesh islamic Cultural centre Harlow. Masjid " This can still be viewed on Google on the Northbrooks website. What you have therefore is a case of misrepresentation as a Masjid is a Mosque and yet they have called it a multi faith centre. They also currently have families living in the pub which is against the existing planning regs and so are not behaving in line with the law or the planning regulations currently.

Tracey Keyes
2024-07-11 16:37:43

Potter Street is already very busy with fast moving traffic and narrow pavements. With up to 80 cars needing to park during meetings where will they park. The application states that there will be parking for only 10 cars. So the other cars will park half on the pavement and half on the road this will cause a great risk to pedestrians trying to walk on the pavements. The extra congestion on the roads will cause huge disruption to the local area. It is clear that local residents views and concerns are not being taken in to consideration. Please everyone go to Harlow s web site and state your concerns and views.

Crazyhorse 74
2024-07-12 18:04:56

Cant we have a McDonald's or kfc there??

Hey Big Spender
2024-07-12 23:54:41

SaveHarlow - The word is RESPITE not REST BITE!

2024-07-14 18:39:49

Let’s face it - this ‘multi-faith’ centre is just another name for an Islamic centre. Same as all ‘multi faith’ prayer rooms you get everywhere these days.

Saidy Alam
2024-07-15 19:33:14

It will be wonderful to have a Muslim cultural centre next to the Church which will establish the multiculturalism and tolerance between the people of different faith. We all are united for the goodness for the people and the country.

J Hockenstan
2024-07-15 19:48:49

Some of these comment are so silly. This was a pub where there was large gathering, open late night and most likely drunk and noisy people leaving the place late at night possibly leading anti social behaviour fueled by alcohol and you was ok with that- and now you have a issue when there is a proposal to make it a place of worship where you you will prob get less people then the pub, peacfull and respectful gathering where education and help will be provided by the local community and faith leaders. Says a lot of these residents of harlow- and thats why this town has so many asbos and people out of work, because their priorities are completly off!

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