Three to face court over claims illegal mosque set-up in resort

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Three people have been taken to court for allegedly running an illegal mosque.

The trio face allegations they breached enforcement 
notices relating to the Noor-A-Madina mosque in Waterloo Road, Blackpool.

The mosque is situated behind a frontage of former shops.

Blackpool Council is prosecuting the trio claiming they have carried on using the properties for worship 
despite being served a notice that it shut down.

The mosque has room for two hundred Muslim followers and contained the studios of Ghousia TV which broadcasts nationally, Blackpool Magistrates Court was told.

It has separate prayer 
areas for males and females and a washing area to prepare bodies for funerals.

The three accused are Syied Hussain Shah, 40, and his wife Taurraf Shah, 32, both of Waterloo Road, Blackpool, and Nadeem Manzoor, of Park View Road, Bradford.

Manzoor, who did not attend the magistrates court, hearing faces two allegations he failed to halt the use of the two-storey mosque as a place of worship in breach of an 
enforcement notice.

He is also alleged to have failed to cease using adjacent land for storage and parking.

Syeid Shah and Taurraf Shah both face four 
allegations, the court was 
told.

They are that they failed to halt using the mosque as a place of worship and failed to halt using land for storage and parking.

They face further allegations over the property and land brought under the Town and Country Planning Act.

Steven Duffy, defending the Shahs, said the couple needed a lawyer with expertise in planning.

Lynda Bennett, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said the planning authority alleges the buildings – mostly owned by Nadeem Manzoor – never got planning permission to become a mosque.

Magistrates agreed to adjourn the hearing for a month.