Thousands sign mosque petition

Residents from South Shore have gathered a petition against the use of a mosque on Waterloo Road
Residents from South Shore have gathered a petition against the use of a mosque on Waterloo Road
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SOUTH Shore business owners have collected almost 3,000 signatures complaining about a local takeaway being used as a mosque.

The group say they are concerned the Noor A Medina Mosque on Waterloo Road, began operating illegally and are worried how it will impact on the area.

They say they believe there is no need for another mosque and fear the impact it will have on traffic. Michael Rowe, manager of the Waterloo Pub said: “Local people are very concerned about the mosque, the petition has been very well supported.

“It doesn’t seem right it has been opened it without it going through the proper channels and giving local businesses and residents the chance to have their say.

“It seems like the two businesses either side of the mosque have been bought too and work is going on in them, we are worried they are being converted before permission is even considered.

“We are also worried about car parking, there is no where to park nearby as it is.”

The petition has been left out in a number of businesses in the area so local people can sign. It will be delivered to Blackpool Town Hall.

Carol Measures, 63 from Carol’s Corner Shop added: “We just don’t believe a mosque is needed here, there is one on Central Drive which is close by. We already have two churches on this part of Waterloo Road, we want more shops and businesses here.

“I wasn’t happy with police installing CCTV outside. It’s not sending out the message my business is important.”

The use of the Mosque has already proved a controversial issue in South Shore. The English Defence League launched a campaign on social networking website Facebook which claims the Mosque contravenes planning regulation.

Stong glue was also sprayed into the locks of the building on July 24 so Police installed CCTV cameras outside to ensure the safety of the family with children who live above.

Blackpool Council has confirmed the group has have applied for a change of premises licence to turn the former takeaway into a meeting place for the local community. They are awaiting further information to make the application official.

Tasurraf Shah, spokeswoman for the mosque said: “I’m very sad about the petition, our door is open to talk to local people who have concerns.

“Car parking has never been an issue, we park on the council car park nearby or people walk here.

“We are a different sect of Islam from the Central Drive mosque so we would not pray there, this gives us somewhere to pray.

“We have five premises on that row and are hoping to convert them for use by the whole community, we hope to offer GCSE courses and language tuition.

“An architect is drawing up plans which will be submitted soon, at the moment we are simply cleaning the premises to improve the look of the area.”