RESIDENTS have launched a campaign against a proposed meeting place for families they claim will ruin their area.

The Beardwood Muslim Association wants to put up a three-storey building on a disused car park in Blackburn.

It said the centre would be used for tuition, tea parties and other small functions for Muslims.

But since association chiefs visited residents in an attempt to explain the plans, neighbours have started campaigning against the proposal.

They said it is not in keeping with the already "overdeveloped" area.

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said they would rather see a community centre on the site that was open to all.

A statement released by the Muslim association stated: "In recent years, the Beardwood area has attracted residents from different faiths and backgrounds and this has resulted in approximately 35 Muslim households now happily residing in the area.

"The intention is to establish a small library and awareness programme for people from all faiths, and also of no faith, to come and hear and learn about Islam and what it has to offer."

It stated that the centre would be used primarily at weekends and evenings and by no more than 15 or 20 people.

"The project will be funded by the Beardwood Muslim community and no contribution will be sought from any public bodies."

Ward councillor Michael Lee said: "I advised the association to speak to the neighbours so they were aware of the plans but that has not worked.

"It's not a mosque, it's just a place where they can meet socially.

"People have got the wrong end of the stick."