A MOSQUE'S scheme to build a car park to ease road issues in the area has been passed, despite concerns about 'chopping down 25 trees to park 26 cars'.

Sughra Mosque applied to build the facility on the land next to Egerton Street in Farnworth earlier this year but the application was deferred by Bolton Council in July as members of the planning committee wished for more information on what would happen to the trees on the land.

It went back before the committee and a spokesman from the mosque said they intended to take down the trees and replant others once it was complete.

Cllr Jean Gillies, ward representative for Farnworth, spoke to the committee in support of the application and said: "This area of land used to be shops and was demolished after a fire.

"The trees there have been self-seeded and the land is brownfield. Unfortunately, the land is currently being used as a dumping ground and is costing the council a great amount of money for removal of fly-tipping.

"I am aware that this is not a planning consideration but wanted to make that point.

"Residents are suffering as a result of the lack of parking and provisions have been made in a previous application for the mosque.

"They were extremely upset as a result of the last decision and they have asked me to share their views.

"There are no objections from anyone who has been consulted. Objections were received from residents who do not live in that vicinity.

"The local residents are struggling because they can not park outside their own homes.

"We are elected to listen to our constituents and help them as much as possible. As we have been inundated with residents asking us to make their quality of life better, I urge the committee to approve the application."

Some members of the committee were opposed to the plans, as they did not wish to lose the trees.

Cllr Debbie Newall said: "A tree is much more than something that you look at. In an urban setting, trees represent much, much more than just a piece of wood with leaves on.

"We are talking about chopping down 25 trees so we can park 26 cars. I just don't think that is acceptable.

"We did defer it and what we have had back is the same application asking for approval with conditions. I'm not happy with this going ahead as it is."

But the majority of the committee supported the proposal and said they were satisfied with the replanting scheme that was put forward.

Cllr Harnif Darvesh, chairman, said: "They have gone back, spoken to the officers, come back with a scheme and the scheme has increased the scope for landscaping on the northern boundary.

"What we have got is a replacement of the trees. We have asked them to go back and have a look at it. It came back and they have answered our question.

"They have come up with the proposal. We asked them to do something and they have come back and I'm happy to support the application."

The committee voted to approve the plans.