Mosque and community centre plans for Gloucester
PLANS for a mosque and community centre shouldn't cause alarm, said community centre leaders who want to work with their neighbours.
The Ghousia Islamic Community Centre wants to demolish a flat-roofed toilet block to make way for a community centre to include worship at Charles Street, Gloucester.
Several objections to the application have been made, concerning excess noise and light at night and storing of bodies for funerals but the applicant's agent said some of those concerns aren't valid.
Trustee and general secretary Muhammad Rukhsar said the community centre wants to get on with its neighbours.
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"We want to work with our local neighbours," he said.
"We are not here to upset anyone. If they have a concern they can contact us – it's our responsibility to look after the rights of all our neighbours."
The primary use of the building is as a community centre, said Mr Rukhsar, with clubs and groups for all ages, regardless of gender.
The mosque would be for the observance of the Sufi sect's faith.
"It's a mosque and a community centre," he said.
"We spend more hours in the community centre than we do in the mosque."
Gloucester Civic Trust has objected to the application, filed with Gloucester City Council, and called for planning permission to be refused. "The site is back land, unsuitable for the use proposed, and the buildings fill it almost in its entirety, to the detriment of the amenity of neighbouring houses in the conservation area," the trust said.
Some nearby residents agreed, and one hoped the receiving and storing bodies for funerals on the site would be discussed.