Oswestry Muslim centre plan gets go-ahead
A Muslim centre will open in Oswestry's former Salvation Army base after plans were given permission.
The centre will open in The Citadel building in King Street, which was most recently a carpet showroom.
Planning consent was granted in December 2017 to turn it into a cinema, but the plans never came to fruition.
Now Zacharia Chowdhury has been granted permission to turn it into a Muslim centre, with prayers to take place five times a day.
His planning application said: “The property was formerly constructed for the Salvation Army in 1888 and used by the organisation up until the early 1980s.
“Subsequently in 1998 ‘change of use’ was granted and was purchased by J&I Carpets and Blinds, the current owner. This remained as their retail outlet until 2013.
“In order to compete more effectively with local competition and expand the business, it became essential to move to a more advantageous location, elsewhere in the town.
“The premises have remained unoccupied since that time with numerous prospective purchasers unable to complete.
“Planning approval was granted for change of use into a cinema in 2017.
“The imposing building frontage retains the imposing ornate brick fenestration facade popular in the Victorian period and is located within the Oswestry Town Centre Conservation Area.”
It added: “The congregation generally resides within the wider Oswestry and District area.
“The centre will at undetermined times of the year be used to hold community meetings and social gatherings.
“There will be no external noise calling the congregation to prayer.
“Prayers will be held five times a day in accordance with the Muslim calendar.
“Twice a year, early morning prayers are held, one for the festival of Eid-Ul Adah and the other for the festival of Eid-Ul Fitre.
“In addition, once a year Ramadam is celebrated at midnight.
“The proposed change of use will bring the vacant building back into community use and enable the retention of the visual character of the building.
“The building has relevance as a heritage asset and sits well within the character of the traditional buildings in King Street.
“This application will ensure the retention and enhancement of the building within the conservation area is maintained and retained for community and generations of the future.”
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