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Blackburn Islamic centre looks set to stay in ex-pub
THE controversial transformation of a historic Blackburn pub into an Islamic centre is set to become permanent, despite new objections from neighbours.
In 2011, Shujun Miah was given temporary planning perm-ission to use the former Dog Inn, in Revidge Road, as a mosque and madrassa.
This followed objections from neighbours, including a 52-signature petition, concerned about possible nuisance, noise, and parking problems.
This was renewed in 2012 while Blackburn with Darwen Council officials continued to monitor the effects of the education and worship centre on the neighbourhood.
In October 2011, a row broke out after workmen damaged exterior lettering on the old pub – against the conditions imposed by the borough planning committee.
The pub was bought by a group of 12 Bengali households to be transformed into the mos-que and madrassa.
The group had to pay £4,000 to restore the pub sign which dates from 1908.
On Thursday, the planning committee will consider an application from Mr Miah to make the change of use permanent. Officials have received three letters of objection repeating concerns about noise, parking, and nuisance.
They also highlight the damage to the sign in 2011, and fear it could be lost for ever if the change of use is made permanent.
The officers’ report said that, following careful monitoring, the levels of traffic, noise and nuisance from the mosque and madrassa had proved to be less than those from a pub.
The report said: “The proposed use within the building for religious education and prayer would be unlikely to conflict with residential amenity of the locality. In the main, these activities involved quiet contemplation, and are not likely to generate significant noise levels.
“This assessment is strengthened when considering the fallback use as a public house which might result in raised voices, or the playing of music.”
The officers recommend the committee approve the perm-anent change of use, provided a detailed scheme for parking and pedestrian walkway across the car park area is submitted.
They also called for a ban on amplified calls to prayer.
Mr Miah’s agent Syed Uddin said: “We have no comment to make before the meeting.”
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