Saturday, 23 February 2013


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Mosque plans given go-ahead by Leicester City Council
Plans to build a mosque with a 60ft minaret on the site of a demolished public house have been approved.
The scheme by Goodwood Community and Education Trust was voted through unanimously at a city council planning meeting on Thursday, despite opposition from some neighbours.
The trust was also given permission to continue using a temporary centre on the site in Gamel Road, Evington, until the permanent building is ready.
Objectors had complained visitors to the temporary mosque would cause parking problems and disturb neighbours in the early hours of the morning.
City council planning committee chairman Patrick Kitterick proposed the scheme should be accepted as there was an established community use on the site.
His deputy Bill Shelton, who lives three minutes' walk from the mosque, said: "In the past, the land has looked like a building site. I like the design of the building.
"I hope users will talk to the residents to resolve problems."
Councillor Dr Lynn Moore said: "I think we should encourage the building of holy places dedicated to prayer."
Ward councillor Baljit Singh said he supported the application for the mosque, but said it was essential worshippers abided by the conditions regarding noise and traffic.
Councillor Susan Barton told the meeting she felt the building was tall in comparison to surrounding houses.
Trustee and imam Ibrahim Mogra said after the meeting: "We are pleased. We hope to invite the wider community to use our facilities, so it is not exclusively for worshippers."
During the meeting he said the temporary centre had already opened its doors to the community for meetings.
He said: "Our intention is to open up rooms for coffee mornings, meetings and education."
He said to reduce parking problems, worshippers would be urged to walk while the new building was being erected.
Those who could not walk would be encouraged to worship at another mosque.
The application was opposed by a group of residents, 33 of whom signed a petition.
Dalziel McLean Carr spokesman for the objectors told the committee: "We do not think it is a suitable location for a mosque."

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