Traffic ‘chaos’ fears at new religious education centre

CONCERNS: Traffic outside the Mamdaini Institute in Deepdale Road, Preston
CONCERNS: Traffic outside the Mamdaini Institute in Deepdale Road, Preston
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Residents claim their lives are being blighted by a newly-opened education and worship centre – as an investigation is launched into whether it has permission to operate.

The Mamdaini Institute opened in a former doctor’s surgery at Deepdale Road, Preston, offering classes and Islamic worship sessions for children.

Neighbours said it is causing traffic chaos and are angry they were not consulted over its opening.

But insitute leaders say necessary measures are being taken to reduce problems.

One neighbour – who is Muslim himself – said: “It’s running like a mosque and we don’t need another one around here.

“I don’t have a problem with the praying, I have a problem with the car parking – it’s chaotic every night.

“We have to wait for spaces outside our own houses, there’s people everywhere with cars being leaned on, doors banging and people shouting.

“Residents are unhappy, but a lot of Muslims don’t want to ruffle any feathers.

“I’ve tried talking to the council and I’ve been fobbed off, though I don’t think there’s permission in place to run it as they are.”

The most recent planning approval is for the doctor’s office in 1995 with a condition that it should only be used as that. Preston Council said a planning application may be required for the current use, but the matter remains under investigation.

Asif Kamil, general secretary of Madani Institute, said: “We’re using the site to run voluntary classes for children as a place of worship. We’re allowed to do that, the council know, and we’re paying the right rates.

“We try to avoid traffic by staggering the times children come out, and we have volunteers who direct parents where to park. But it is a busy road and when the football’s on or when the café opposite has events on, it is more congested.”