PLANS to demolish a mosque and build a new “landmark” place of worship in its place will be decided at today’s planning committee meeting.
The leaders of Sughra Mosque have applied to Bolton Council for permission to knock down their existing home in Granville Street, Farnworth, and replace it with a three-storey centre.
Included in the plans is a blueprint for a reception, publicity room, men’s hall, women’s hall, IT suite, library, classroom and two ablution areas for washing.
In a statement to the council, architects Inspire Planning Solutions said it thinks the design will support the regeneration of Farnworth and would be a “significant improvement” in the appearance of the site.
It added: “The proposed mosque will replace an existing mosque within the urban area in the heart of the community which it serves.
“By rebuilding the mosque in its existing location, there will be minimum disruption to the community which could otherwise be fractured if the mosque were to relocate.
“One of the main drivers behind the application is to enhance the facilities and space. This would include a community hall, which will widen the role of the building and support a valuable local cultural facility.”
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Planning officers at Bolton Council have recommended councillors approve the plans, despite acknowledging it is likely there will be “detrimental impact to local residents” through loss of light.
However, they argue that the new building has the potential to act as a catalyst for investment and regeneration of the wider area.
In his report, planning officer Alex Allen said: “A building such as a mosque will by its very nature and function not reflect the traditional character of the area.
“Notwithstanding this, the proposal has the potential to provide a new landmark building to one of the key gateways into Farnworth.”