Inspector throws out mosque plan

Natasha Shah and Syed Hussain Shah upstairs in the mosque
Natasha Shah and Syed Hussain Shah upstairs in the mosque
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PLANS for a new mosque in Blackpool have been thrown out for the second time.

The bid to convert four units on Waterloo Road, South Shore, which had previously operated mainly as take-aways, has been turned down at appeal.

Planning inspector Michael Moffoot backed a council decision to reject the application due to traffic concerns.

In his report he said the scheme “would severely harm highway and pedestrian safety.”

He added he had “significant concerns regarding the Friday lunchtime prayers when some 80 to 90 people would attend the mosque.”

Mr Moffoot said he feared this would be “likely to cause severe disruption on a weekly basis.”

He added “demand and competition for parking space in the area would be intense” and the subsequent access problems would be unacceptable so close to a busy footway and junction.

Tasurraf Shah, who had hoped to use the buildings for facilities including three prayer halls and a community room, said she was disappointed by the outcome.

She said: “The application has been rejected on the grounds of parking so we are going to have a meeting among ourselves to discuss what we want to do next.”

Residents in the area had opposed the plans amid fears it would cause traffic congestion and parking problems.

A petition with more than 3,000 signatures was handed over to the council.

Jeremy Smith, of Karl Smith Car Sales on Waterloo Road, said: “As local residents we can now breathe a sigh of relief that this whole sorry saga is behind us.

“This situation has been allowed to drag on far too long because of bureaucracy.

“Perhaps the council will now address the ongoing issue of the shocking state of repair of some of the buildings in this area.”

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