Jun 21 2014
An ostentatious new Muslim eyesore is planned for Bolton. Developers have submitted plans for the building in Astley Bridge. A plot of land has been earmarked for a mosque and jihad training center, complete with a dome, minaret, and 19 classrooms.
Bolton News Those behind the proposals say the new building will bridge the gap between “negative perceptions” of Islam and the faith’s true meaning. (In other words the negative perceptions will become seething hatred) Taiyabah Islamic Centre — which already owns premises next to the site — is behind the scheme.
Artist’s impressions for the landmark building have been released as part of the planning application. The development will cater for more than 1,000 prayer mats in the mosque building. A madrasah facility — an Islamic educational centre — will contain 19 classrooms and there would be an on-site car park with 80 spaces if the plans are approved.
A spokesman for the Taiyabah Mosque said: “Our charity serves one of the oldest mosque communities in Bolton. “The community is in need of a new facility that meets the day-to-day worship, education and community needs. “We have been planning for this scheme for a number of years to ensure that the right development was aesthetically pleasing and functional.”
Taiyabah Mosque was established in 1967 and bought the former Congregational Sunday School in Blackburn Road — its current home — in 1988.
David Cox, the project’s principal architect, said: “We are particularly proud to be part of a project which explores the nature of faith and community in a positive way. “We have explored this by arranging the building around a series of courtyard spaces so that the building presents an open and inviting aspect to surrounding streets in a gesture of welcome to passers-by.”
Existing retail units and garages will be demolished to make way for the new building if the plans are approved. Cllr Guy Harkin, for Crompton, said: “I would be very surprised if there were any grounds for not accepting it. “Providing there is good parking provision on the site I think it is a straightforward application.
Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail, who also represents Crompton ward, added: “The community that uses the current facility in Blackburn Road has for many years wished for a purpose-built place of worship. “This facility would be a fit-for-purpose 21st-century building that would cater for their community aspirations and become a valuable local focal point. (While driving down the home values in the neighborhood, causing white flight, followed by Muslims buying up cheap properties as a result)
“When the site was acquired a consultation was undertaken to understand the needs of the local Muslim community, who have now become second and third generation residents. “As a child, I attended the very first Muslim place of worship in the area, which still stands and is now functioning as a children’s nursery.