IQNA

10:24 - January 23, 2022
News ID: 3477486
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Despite opposition from some local residents, plans were approved to knock down a former police station in Cardiff, Wales, and replace it with a mosque.

Planned mosque in Wales

 

The Old Police Station in St Mellons has been home to the East Cardiff Muslim Center since 2019, with an application to demolish it and replace it with a permanent purpose-built center submitted last year.

This application has now been given the go-ahead by Cardiff Council, with demolition work due to begin later this year.

The new center on Crickhowell Road will be larger than the current police station building and will provide dedicated areas for daily worship for men and women. The space will also be used for other community activities, such as classes, according to the application submitted by East Cardiff Educational Trust.

Land in front of the building is set to be used as a green area "with enhanced planting and a rain garden", while 15 cycle parking spaces are also included in the development. However, there is no car parking provision.

The proposals have divided local residents, however, with more than 50 people raising concerns over the site's proximity to the Tesco Superstore nearby and the knock-on effect the development could have on traffic in St Mellons.

Even more, however, were in support of the proposals, and said the new center would have a positive impact on the local area.

Some objecting residents who were consulted on the plans said that the development would "cause chaos" on the roads, with the lack of parking space provision likely to considerably worsen congestion, which is already a major problem in the area.

Local resident Faith Evans said the mosque would be "a major problem," adding: "It is already difficult getting access to the street I live in, if there are visitors at the nursing home who need to use the road for parking.

"We also have people who use Tesco, the barbers, the dentist and other retail outlets who park on our street. Without a designated parking area, the mosque would only further cause congestion in an already crowded area."

Another objection from Rasha Ibrahim read: "The area is already very busy and congested along with Tesco, nearby schools, doctors surgery. This will be made even more congested especially during Ramadan, as late night prayers will be going ahead, and Friday prayers.

Eun Kim added that the "unfortunate" proposal would "almost certainly" increased traffic in the area, writing: "Traffic is already quite congested in the area with a Tesco and residential estate. The applicants should have found a more suitable location and the council should refuse this application, in my view."

Others who objected to the plans argued that the new center was "not in keeping" with surroundings and would affect the local area's appearance and character, as well as leading to noise pollution.

Philip Jackson, who moved to St Mellons nearly 40 years ago, said the development would cause the area's existing appearance and character to "be gone forever" and would likely lead to "large crowds" as well as "considerable noise and severe disturbance at many hours of the day".

He added: "Such a development would dominate the area [and] would not be in keeping with the current appearance of the area which was conceived and developed over forty years ago."

Murphy Abraham also objected to the new center on the grounds that it "does not benefit the greater community," while fellow local resident Marianne Pesticcio said the site was "extremely unsuitable for purpose."

However, more than 60 residents were in favor of the plans and proposed the development would enhance the community, promote diversity and inclusion and provide a suitable use for what is currently a disused site.

In support of the new center, Robyn Grainger wrote: "Personally, I think this is a good idea. I am not religious but do believe that somewhere where people can congregate to celebrate their beliefs is fantastic - regardless of religion.

"As long as it's not hurting anyone I see no problem. It will be lovely for our local Muslims to practice in an environment where they can be together.

Chloe Stephenson said the mosque would be "a great addition," writing: "I think it's a great idea and clearly needed. I'm sure it'll be massively beneficial to the community."

Local resident Mohammed Ali said that a place of worship "is a must" for the area and "would help people who feel isolated and suffer from mental health," while Laura Rich added: "All individuals regardless of religious background bring value to our community, and there are few spaces outside of the city central region where people of similar religion and belief can congregate."

 

Source: walesonline.co.uk

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