Proposals to relocate mosque put forward

Location: The site on Grafton Street, Presron, at the centre of the proposals
Location: The site on Grafton Street, Presron, at the centre of the proposals
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Plans to relocate a Preston mosque will go before councillors next week.

The proposals are to relocate the Preston Muslim and Cultural Centre from 21 Fishergate Hill to 26/27 Fishergate Hill and 11/11a Grafton Street.

The plans have been submitted by Preston Muslim Cultural Centre so they can accommodate the increasing number of people using the place of worship.

The proposals are for the erection of a mosque, the extension to the car park following the demolition of 11 Grafton Street, and the conversion of 11a Grafton Street to community room and boundary treatment.

The proposed masjid and associated facilities would be two storeys high. The prayer hall would accommodate 132 occupants at ground floor level and 131 occupants at first floor level.

The building would be flat roofed with an octagonal glazed lantern, topped by a small dome elevated above the main roof.

The application will be discussed at a Preston Council planning meeting on Monday, and has been recommended for refusal.

It has been hauled before the planning committee by Coun Dave Wilson on the grounds that it would be a “community asset” and “would not be obtrusive to the local community.”

The council has received six letters of objection from residents of Grafton Street. The grounds of the objection include: increased parking and traffic, the scale of the building and the roof design.

Arshad Dadabhoy from the centre said: “If it is refused it will be a disappointment.

“We will explore the options available if the refusal happens.”

Mr Dadabhoy said the plans have the backing of the community, councillors and faith leaders in the area.

The report due before councillors states: “The proposed development has been the subject of considerable negotiations prior to and following submission of the application. 
“There is already approval for religious and community use of part of the site and it is considered that the use of the overall site as an extension of the existing religious and community use is considered to be acceptable in principle.

“However, notwithstanding protracted negotiations, it is considered that the scale and form of the new building would be too large for the site, particularly in context of the adjoining two storey residential terrace.”