Plans for new permanent place of worship for Muslims in Peterborough rejected

The site of the planned madrassa
The site of the planned madrassa

An application to give permanent planning permission for a place of worship for Muslims was rejected after councillors heard the centre had previously breached its conditions of use.

The Madina Madrassa And Spiritual Centre in Midland Road, West Town, received temporary planning permission in 2014 under the condition that it demolish a modular building after two years, but the council’s planning committee heard that this had not taken place. On Tuesday the committee considered an application to make the centre, which was referred to in the meeting as a mosque, a permanent fixture.

Agent for the application Gordon Smith said there were plans to knock down the current buildings on the site then fundraise to build a replacement.

He added that there was a “dire need” for a place of worship in that part of the city as there are 7,000 Muslims in the west of Peterborough who all have to travel to Central ward to visit a mosque.

Applicant Mohammad Yunas said there could be up to 250 worshippers at a time, adding: “We have to provide for the local need.”

But committee member Cllr Peter Hiller said: “They should have removed the temporary buildings two years ago. They are still there and still being used.”

Cllrs Shaz Nawaz and Christian Hogg both expressed sympathy with the worshippers and abstained at the vote, but the rest of the committee rejected the application. Concerns raised by the council’s planning team had included noise and a lack of parking.