PLANS to turn an historic building in Nelson into a mosque are set to be turned down by councillors.

Bosses at the Al-Hira Mosque, in Seldon Street, want to use the Masonic Hall, in Bradshaw Street, as an extra mosque and education facility because of increased demand.

But council planners have recommended the scheme be refused because of concerns over the lack of parking.

Keith Thompson, Pendle Council planning officer, said in a report: “The hall closed in 2012 and had been used by Nelson masons since the 1940s.

“The proposed development is for the change of use of the building from a masonic hall to a place of worship and religious tuition.

“The mosque would be for all ages for children and parents and the teaching use would be for children up to 16 years for a maximum of 40.”

If plans were approved, the building would open from 1pm to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 8pm on Saturday and bank holidays.

Mr Thompson said: “The proposal would result in increased pressure for on-street parking during visits to the building for prayer and when dropping children off as the applicant states in his justification statement.

“The parking of vehicles on both sides of Bradshaw Street and Extwistle Street would effectively reduce those highways to one-way streets. This would impede on the free flow of traffic, while vehicles manoeuvring to and from restricted parking spaces would pose a threat to highway safety.

“The limited number of off-street parking spaces currently available is insufficient to meet the demand from users of a mosque and a teaching facility for up to 40 children.”

Councillors on the Nelson Area Committee will make a decision on the plans at their meeting next Monday.