The British National Party’s new Eastbourne branch, under the dynamic leadership of organiser Peter Falon, has launched a campaign to halt the building of a mosque, complete with minaret, in that town.
The campaign has been steadily building steam, and will come under renewed activity now that the planning application has been approved by the local council.
“The development, which will replace the already existing Islamic centre, will most certainly deface what one presumes is a genteel Victorian seaside resort,” said Nick Prince, newly promoted Southeast deputy regional organiser.
“Once the minaret has been built, this will be the very first sight to greet all visitors to Eastbourne by train,” he said.
Mr Falon and his branch team have been collecting signatures around the Ashford Square area, where the mosque will be built.
The branch gathered up around 200 signatures in September and October and were set to canvass many more when the council advised them that it would only count as “one objection.”
“Our petition was given to the Ashford Square Residents' Association, who duly handed it in at the planning meeting last week,” Mr Falon said.
“The Ashford Square Residents' Association is totally independent of the British National Party but we have been working together in order to try and prevent this from happening.
“Back in the summer an earlier plan was thrown out due to pressure from both the BNP and Residents' Association,” he added.
“In the meantime, Eastbourne BNP will continue to support the residents of the Devonshire ward in which the mosque is to be built. The party will also engage in leafleting and days of action.”
In a letter sent by Mr Prince to the local newspaper, he said that the BNP objected “to the building of domes and minarets in an area that consists of Victorian dwellings.
“Eastbourne's image consists of a fantastic, sought after and well loved tourist resort and not that of a multicultural society, and it is the traditional values of Eastbourne that we wish to keep.
“We appreciate that this subject will raise a great deal of debate in the area from both sides and those that do object and live nearby to the mosque will be able to express their views via the ballot box by voting for the British National Party at next year’s Borough Council elections,” Mr Prince wrote.