Plans to open a new Muslim cultural centre have been rejected.

The bid, to convert and extend an empty shop and flat in Higham Hill Road, Walthamstow, had been recommended for approval by officers from Waltham Forest Council.

They said there was a lack of such facilities for the Muslim community in the area, and during a consultation 32 people sent emails in support of the proposals. Only one person objected.

But councillors on the authority's planning committee were not convinced by the plans and disagreed with their own officers, saying the need for the centre had not been demonstrated.

They also cited poor public transport links and raised concern about the impact on neighbours through noise and other disturbance.

The application included proposals for a bookshop at the front of the building and a single-storey rear extension to provide space for a variety of classes.

Plans for a similar but larger cultural centre were rejected last year amid concerns about the scale of the development.

And in November 2011 the council issued an enforcement notice on the site following complaints it was illegally being used as a place of worship and education centre.