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Mosque and community centre plans for Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

Comments (6)

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.

"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.

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  • honslknjklyt  |  February 12 2013, 6:57PM

    I would rather see a march to the mosque than a **** walk.

    |   -73
  • MRH92  |  February 12 2013, 6:52PM

    @ Raccoon - our current car park is for four cars; however, new extension will retain 2 car spaces and provide bike shed. In our regular prayers we have 4-8 people on average of which 2 probably drive in. The concern would be perhaps Friday prayer which has our largest congregation; for which we have agreed parking with Anglo Asian Centre across the road which we have arranged to avoid any inconvenience for our neighbours. I would like to stress our Centre has not brought in a new community or people. We use pray at other Mosques until we received animosity due to our beliefs and had to provide facilities for our community as five prayers is obligatory for us. Hope that helps.

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  • Raccoon  |  February 12 2013, 6:43PM

    Where are the cars going to park?

  • MRH92  |  February 12 2013, 4:50PM

    @ Bartfurd - this is the ONLY Islamic Centre in Gloucestershire which does not build stereotypes. The representatives are Pakistani, Indian Gujrati, African and Kashmiri nationality. Also worth noting one of the Committee members is British born. The community centre and Masjid is open to all and does not steretype on denominations but promotes true teachings of Islam, Peace and Love. It is only Centre in Gloucestershire whose beliefs are not affiliated to any extremist organisations across the world. It has the moderate Islamic view and openly condemns any acts of terror and considers them unislamic.

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  • Bratfurd  |  February 12 2013, 4:17PM

    If the community centre plans to be inclusive of all the community (rather than just Pakistani's from a specific religious denomination) then it has my support.

    |   -13
  • MRH92  |  February 12 2013, 9:11AM

    Few points for clarification: 1. The bodies will not be stored at the Centre at any point. 2. Two objections have been raised by neighbours of which 1 of the objections is not related to the Centre applying for Extension. 3. Thirty Two women have supported this extension with petition of which 5 are direct neighbours. There are a number of neighbours supporting this extension. 4. The extension does not fall in to conservation area or affect neighbours amenity; the Community Centre withdrew its previous planning application and held a meeting with the Council; in the meeting neighbours views, rights, conservation area etc were taken into consideration and plans were drawn accordingly with the views of Council Officers and Neighbours. Anyone has any concerns the Community Centre is willing to sit down and set measures to ensure that their rights protected at all times. The Community Centre is also willing to arrange a meeting with neighbours to arrange rules which will protect the neighbours concerns. However, the Community Centre works very hard to protect neighbours rights and takes this seriously. The Community Centre has worked with the Police in successfully reducing Prostitution and drugs in Charles Street and Widden Street. Community Centre is working very hard with local leaders in making the community a better place for its residence.

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