Preston Muslim prayer centre wants to extend hours and capacity by 400%

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Preston prayer centre is seeking to change the conditions it fought to get approved less than four years ago.

Leaders at the Boulevard Community Prayer Centre in Carleton Drive won their case to turn a retail unit and flat into a prayer facility on appeal in November 2020.

They say it serves a “vital role” for the local Muslim Community, and allows attendees to avoid an 18 minute walk up a steep hill or five minute drive to the two nearest Mosques - Faizan e Madina and Jamea Masjid.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But now leaders say conditions imposed by Preston City Council are restrictive and want to see longer operating hours and a much bigger capacity.

What is the problem? Practising Muslims are required to say five sets of prayers a day and they are performed at times determined essentially by the position of the sun in the In sky. Currently, planning permission allows the prayer centre to open between 7am and 10pm Monday to Sunday, and states that “The total number of users of the prayer facility hereby approved shall not exceed eight at any one time.”

In a letter to Preston Council, agent Alban Cassidy states that “Both of these conditions fundamentally undermine the beneficial role that the Musalla has for the local Muslim community.”

The Prayer Centre in Carlton Drive, PrestonThe Prayer Centre in Carlton Drive, Preston
The Prayer Centre in Carlton Drive, Preston | Google

He adds: “The permitted opening hours prevents the Fajr prayer taking place within the Musalla for much of the year. From late January to late November, 10 months of the year, the performance of the Fajr prayer cannot take place without conflict with condition 3. This is an unreasonable constraint on the facility and undermines one of its key components.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It is proposed that the conditions are changed to allow use from one hour before dawn to one hour after sunset, and that “The total number of users of the prayer facility hereby approved shall not exceed 40 at any one time. Between the hours of 11.30pm and 7am, the number of users shall not exceed 20.”

They say the councils refusal to vary the conditions “would disproportionately affect the growing Muslim community in the immediate locality”, and insist that people leaving the centre would be in a “solemn” state, and that a noise impact assessment has been carried out, which showed no material impact upon the residential amenity of the adjacent property would occur.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.