The owner of a former dance hall in Birmingham hit out after his bid to turn it into a place of worship was refused by planners.
Ash Azam said reports that the hall in Reservoir Road, Selly Oak, was going to become a mosque had led to residents starting a petition.
His application for a change of use to a place of worship was turned down by the city council’s planning committee.
The committee heard the building was last used as a dance hall in 2002 and had been empty ever since.
Mr Azam told councillors that publicity stating he wanted to turn it into a mosque had led to a storm of protest.
This included 17 letters of objection, including one from Selly Oak councillor Alistair Dow, and a petition with 150 signatures, he said.
Mr Azam said: “Everyone thinks it is going to be a mosque and that led to a petition.”
He did not say if the reports were accurate or false but said his application would revert the building back to its original use, which was a place of worship.
And he told the committee that since it had been for sale, the only people who had shown an interest were Islamic groups.
The planning committee members turned the scheme down on the grounds of traffic and parking problems, saying most of the worshippers would come from other suburbs as the area was “predominately white Europeans”.