Backdated planning permission has been granted for a toilet extension to a community mosque in a former Blackburn Church.

The addition is to the 19th Century former home of St. Chad’s Church and Day School in Pleckgate Road.

In January last year Pleckgate Community Centre was given approval to use the building, previously been used as a workshop, as a place of Islamic worship and religious instruction.

Now Blackburn with Darwen planners have granted retrospective permission for the extension.

A report recommending approval by town hall officer Nick Blackledge says: "The application site relates to the former St. Chad’s Church and Day School.

"Most recently it has been is use for commercial storage.

"The building has since been vacated and is subject to the grant of planning permission for a place of Public Worship and Religious Instruction including demolition of outbuilding.

"The site is located and accessed to the east of Pleckgate Road, between its junction with Wilworth Crescent to the north and Woolridge Playing Fields to the south, in a predominantly residential area.

"Although recognised as a building of some architectural and culture significance, it is neither nationally of locally listed.

"No additional prayer capacity is proposed, by virtue of the extension providing for WC’s.

"The proposed extension represents a sympathetic addition, being well proportioned and reflecting the architectural style of the host building, including gable roof profile, stone elevations and slate roof.

"A soft landscaping scheme will assist in integrating the scheme into the natural environment.

"Seventeen neighbours were consulted by letter. No comments were received."

St Chad’s was a single-storey stone-built building constructed circa 1870.

It later became a day school and also had a Sunday School. It is understood that services continued to be held in the building until the 1970s.

The approval has four conditions attached including the submission of a scheme detailing hard surfacing and marking out of the car park.

The January 2022 planning permission specified that the building will not be used for Friday prayers or for weddings and funerals, nor would there be a resident imam.