By Bill Jacobs @BillJacobsLT
The EG Group founders Mohsin and Zuber’s charitable foundation has submitted plans for the new building with a dome and two minarets on the recently-vacated site of Westholme School’s former infant and first school.
The scheme would demolish the existing buildings and as well as a place of Muslim worship it would include a community centre for the use of all faiths and backgrounds.
The Issa Foundation’s registered charity has submitted a planning application for the project in Billinge and Beardwood ward to Blackburn with Darwen Council.
A design and access statement supporting the scheme at the junction of Preston New Road, Billinge End Road and Buncer Lane says: “The new proposal will: maintain and improve the principle of community use on the site; redevelop a vacant brownfield site and bring it back in to an active use for the benefit of the local community; provide facilities for prayers, training, education, social care and community integration; create an iconic building and place of worship; and promote interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims, provide a positive contribution towards Blackburn’s community cohesion agenda.
“The new facility and in particular the place of worship, will provide a dedicated provision for ladies and children.
“All the facilities within the replacement place of worship and community centre will be open to the local community irrespective of their creed, colour or religion.
“The community centre will be made available for the local community as well as serving as a focal meeting point for meetings and other events for local councillors, the health authority and others such as social services and housing etc.
“The design of the place of worship is of contemporary Islamic architecture, having arched windows and fenestration complete with two minarets and a dome.”
Cllr Phil Riley, the council’s growth boss, said: “It sounds as though this will be a very impressive building on one of the key gateways into the town.”