New plans for £1 million mosque in Perth are lodged

Far-right activists protested the original proposal

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New plans for a £1 million mosque in Perth that sparked a hate-filled protest have been lodged.

Members of Perth Islamic Society have forwarded the bid for the site at 43-51 Jeanfield Road.

It comes after the original application, given the green light by Perth and Kinross Council in June 2017, expired in May.

The longer-term scheme will see the place of worship built in the traditional style complete with a minaret and a community hall for public use beyond the Muslim community.

 

The group paid £225,000 for the land, with the purpose-built mosque set to cost around £800,000-£900,000.

 

It is hoped the new centre will help accommodate the area’s growing Muslim population.

The community set up a funding bid shortly after the 2017 approval in an attempt to move from its current site – an upstairs flat on the Glasgow Road where it has been since 1997 – due to a lack of space.

The plan sparked a protest in Perth by the Scottish Defence League in September 2017, with around 50 far-right activists being met by a counter-protest of around 1000 people.

Speaking in January Arif Minhas, a committee member at the Islamic Society, told the PA: “It’s going along well and fundraising is still going ahead.

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“Funds have come from charity donors and fundraisers from abroad. We don’t have an exact amount but it will cost around a million to build.

“People in the community are standing by waiting for it to get the go ahead.”

Despite the protest sparked by the mosque, Mr Minhas hopes a new place of worship on the street will have a positive effect.

“It is going to be here for a long time so we want it to be something that suits the area and suits the environment,” he added.

 

Perth Against Racism said the 2017 marches and demonstrations to overshadow the SDL showcased the widespread support for the Mosque community in Perthshire.

“There was a tremendous show of support for the local mosque and the Muslim community and that support still stands,” a spokesperson said. “I hope that we do not see the return of the SDL.

“They are not wanted or needed here in Perth. We wish our Muslim friends good luck with the start of the new mosque which will give them a fantastic new place of worship.”

A number of objections were also lodged against the application surrounding a concern in an increase in traffic and parking when it was first approved.

 

“We have sorted out the parking spaces with the council and we have explained how the parking is going to be,” Arif said.

“They determined we have given them enough spaces as there will be 20-22 spaces on the site.”


Source: Daily Record

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