PLANS for a new mosque and community centre in Blackpool have now been officially lodged with the council.
The proposals, which mean the conversion of five adjacent properties on Waterloo Road, South Shore, have prompted controversy with claims the Noor A Medina mosque has been operating illegally inside a former takeaway.
Now the group behind the scheme is putting its plans on a formal footing, but says it has been doing nothing wrong.
The plans include prayer areas as well as rooms for community activities such as after-school clubs and adult learning.
The charity owns two of the properties already, and is fundraising to raise the £430,000 needed to buy the other three.
Tasurraf Shah, spokeswoman for the mosque, said: “We have between 300 and 400 members who regularly donate to the mosque and that covers our day to day running costs, and we are also doing fundraising events every month.
“We know we have a lot of money to raise but we are confident we can do that.
“We have never hidden anything and we want people from all different backgrounds to come along and use the facilities. We are open to everyone.
“It is not just going to be a mosque where people come and pray, it will be so much more than that.”
South Shore business owners have collected almost 3,000 signatures in protest at the plans which they fear will impact on traffic.