Asda owners planning landmark mosque in UK

Plans by the British Muslim brothers who own supermarket chain Asda to build a “landmark” mosque in north west England have been approved.

The £5 million ($6.9 million) project to build a mosque in Blackburn by the billionaire siblings had faced objections over the height of its minarets and the noise it may have caused, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Friday.

However, the local council approved the plans after the Issa Foundation agreed to address 21 issues that had been raised.

Councillor Phil Riley told the BBC it would be an “impressive facility” which could “only enhance the spirit of the town.”

Permission for the project to go ahead on the site of a former school was granted on Thursday.

Amongst concerns raised by Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Browne to a committee about the mosque was the height of the minaret towers and the noise created by the call to prayer.

However, planning manager Gavin Prescott said the proposed 29 meter towers “are considered to frame the surrounding area with the existing church towers associated” with two local churches.

He added that noise would be limited with no amplified calls to prayer.

Riley, the council’s lead on regeneration, said it was “going to be no ordinary mosque,” and “an absolutely landmark building at a very important gateway.”

“With its Islamic architecture, it obviously reflects the changing face of modern Blackburn... and this will show Blackburn in the new light of a place where there is diversity, but also where communities mix,” Riley added.

The Issa Foundation has also pledged £30,000 to improve safety at a junction close to the mosque and employ parking marshals to reduce road safety risks.

Source: Arab News


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