PLANS to convert a former pub to an Islamic education centre have been approved – to the dismay of some neighbours.

The former Dog Inn, on the corner of Revidge Road and Lynwood Road, Blackburn, will now become an ‘education and cultural centre’ and madrassa.

Some residents opposed the plans, and police were reported to have ‘serious concerns’ about road safety.

Opponents submitted a 52-signature petition to Blackburn with Darwen Council planning committee to make their case, claiming parking would be a problem, and parents dropping off youngsters by car would create a dangerous level of traffic.

Planning chiefs said it was impossible to know how heavy the traffic would be until the centre was in use, so granted a 12-month temporary permission.

Levels of traffic will be monitored over this period.

The borough’s award-winning mosque marshalling scheme will be used to keep youngsters safe on the roads, said planning committee member Salim Mulla, at the meeting on Thursday night.

Coun Dave Smith said: “It’s a better use of the building than a very busy pub.”

The detached two-storey building will cater for daily prayers and a madrassa for 15 to 20 children.

One full-time Imam will live in the flat above, and a part-time teacher will also be employed.

But Revidge Road resident Steve Crook said Lancashire Police’s traffic chief Gary Makin had expressed concern.

Mr Crook said: “It would greatly disturb the neighbourhood and bring an unacceptable level of noise and traffic.”

Council officers admitted the change could result in an ‘unacceptable’ impact on parking and traffic, but said they had no power to require users to walk to the centre.

Instead, they settled on a temporary permit which will need to be renewed in 12 months.