London - The British government has blocked an Islamic group with alleged links to ‘fundamentalism’ from building the country’s biggest mosque, putting a final end to a 16-year battle, Telegraph reported Sunday.

The plans by the Tablighi Jamaat would have created a “megamosque” with 190-foot minarets and three times the floorspace of St Paul’s Cathedral. The 290,000 square foot mosque, near the Olympic Park in east London, would have accommodated up to 9,300 worshippers in two main gender-segregated prayer halls and a further 2,000 in a separate hall.

The scheme, officially known as the Abbey Mills Markaz or the Riverine Centre, was rejected by the local council, Newham, as long ago as December 2012, with councillors saying the building was too large and would harm their plans for a mixed-use neighbourhood.

But Tablighi Jamaat appealed, taking the application to a three-week public inquiry in summer last year. The inquiry inspector’s report was submitted to the government in January, but ministers have been sitting on it since then because of its political sensitivity.

However, sources close to the process say that the Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, has now made the final decision to block the scheme. A public announcement is expected shortly. “This proposal has created a great deal of division in Newham,” said one person with knowledge of the decision.

Alan Craig, a former Newham councillor who led the campaign against the mosque, said: “This is fantastic news. For a decade and a half, Tablighi Jamaat has pulled out every stop to get its way, but at last it is over.”

During the Newham planning process, protestors from a body called the Newham People’s Alliance, set up to express “community support” for the mosque, blockaded the council offices where the planning committee was meeting.