RESIDENTS of a town have set up a petition to object to the building of a Mosque.

In April, a planning application by Madina Mosque was made to Pendle Council to convert the listed Saint Bartholomews Church School on Exchange Street, Colne, into a Mosque.

The plan includes creating a single-storey extension to the back, side and front of the existing building.

However, the application has angered some of the town’s residents who say the conversion will not only ‘encourage more worshippers to Colne’, but will also lead to more Mosques being built and will ‘change the face of Colne forever’.

Craig McBeth, who has led the petition, which now has more than 1,100 signatures, said a number of concerns have been raised in the community and he wants to take the petition to the council’s planning department.

Mr McBeth said: “I’ve listed many areas which are of concern to residents in Colne, with vehicle access, pedestrian access and parking being the main ones.”

Mr McBeth also cited issues over changes which could impact the integrity of the building, as well as lighting and security.

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He added: “The proposal also wants to increase the floor space by over 100 percent from 273 square metres to 558 square metres. This would significantly change the building, its integrity and its history in a negative way.

“The proposal includes no conformity to the history of the building in the extension, and would be out of character.”

However, many have welcomed the application, saying the conversion would prevent the building from being vandalised, damaged or used as a ‘drug den’.

Corporate director for Pendle Borough Council Philip Mousdale said: “We’re aware of the petition to stop the opening of a mosque at the former St Bartholomew’s Church School in Exchange Street, Colne.

“If and when we formally receive the petition, we’ll pass it to the relevant committee as part of their consideration of the planning application.”

Consultation for the planning application ends tomorrow.

To comment visit citing reference number 19/0314/FUL or email