Plans have been approved to transform a former MOT testing centre into an educational facility which will be part of a nearby mosque, despite another business claiming the move will make their enterprise unviable.

Permission was sought to demolish the former Gilnow Service Centre on Gilnow Road, Queens Park, and to erect a three-storey community centre.

The building would become a part of the nearby Masjid-Al-Asqua mosque.

The plan is for seven classrooms on the ground floor, a hall, staff room, meeting room and office on the first floor and a hall, library and IT room on the second floor.

Four additional car parking spaces would be provided.

However another MOT centre, which operates next to the spot, claimed the plans would force their business to go under.

In making an objection to the plans they said 'three livelihoods depended on the centre'.

They said: “The proposed plans only leave 3.5m between the MOT station car parking and the new building, whereas DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) require 8m.

“Attempts have been made to negotiate with the mosque committee but have failed.

“This is three families’ livelihoods.”

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When the matter came before the planning committee at Bolton Council a representative from the business urged the committee to reject the plans.

Mr Hussain said: “If the building is moved forward it is not possible for me to operate it.

“I am willing to sacrifice if they make some changes to it.

“I’m willing them to pay them for the money that they are going to lose out.”

Councillor David Grant, who serves on the committee, asked whether this could be taken into account.

He said: “Surely the consequences of a planning decision that could potentially put a perfectly viable business out of commission is a material consideration.

“We must think about people who are there surely.

“As a consequence of our actions we could be harming a business.”

A planning officer said it was not a material consideration and so it could not be considered.

Mr Grant later said: “I still have my reservations, I am incredibly uneasy that this authority can make a decision that can put a perfectly good business out of commission but I do appreciate what the officers are saying, so on the basis of the officer guidance I am going to support it.

“I do hope the applicant and the objector can come together to find a solution so both can live harmoniously together.”

The committee voted to approve the plans.